How to Apply For COBRA Insurance and Subsidy

1.

What is COBRA? COBRA insurance comes from a law that was passed to help people who recently lost their jobs continue to have health insurance. Companies are required by law to offer COBRA insurance for at least 18 months after you lose your job. The COBRA insurance allows you to continue to purchase your group health insurance even though you are no longer employed b the company. However, COBRA insurance can be very expensive because employers can force you to cover 100\% of the cost.

2.

How to I get COBRA insurance ?
Your employer by law has to give you the COBRA insurance application paperwork within 30 days of terminating your employment. The actual process changes from state to state and insurer to insurer, but make sure to get the application from your employer and turn it in! COBRA insurance will allow you to keep your medical insurance.

3.

How do I apply for the subsidy?
Recently, due to the large number of lay offs, the government passed a COBRA insurance subsidy package wherein it will cover up to 65\% of your COBRA insurance costs (which can be very expensive). You are eligible if you were lost your job between Sept. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2009. You should receive notice from your employer/insurer by April 18, 2009. It will include an application for the subsidy, so just follow those instructions. You will have 60 days to apply and the benefits can be applied retroactively. Make sure to apply for this COBRA subsidy if you have recently lost your job!

Tips and Warnings

  • Your are not eligible for the subsidy if you qualify for Medicare or a spouse's insurance coverage.
  • As the economy gets worse and more people become unemployed it is important to understand how to apply for COBRA insurance so that you and your family can maintain health insurance while you look for work. Also, the government recently passed a COBRA insurance subsidy where the government will pay 65\% of your COBRA insurance costs and you will only need to pay for 35\% rather than the 100\% which is normally offered with COBRA.