If you lost your job or you found a new job, you may have a period when you don’t have health insurance coverage. COBRA insurance coverage was enacted to help people to continue to have health insurance coverage in these situations. If you find yourself in a situation that will need to use COBRA you need to make sure that you handle the situation correctly.
If you are starting a new job, you may experience a lapse in coverage. You may decide to play the Cobra waiting game. The insurance company allows you to make your initial COBRA insurance payment within sixty days of your insurance coverage ending. If you are healthy and would not have any preexisting conditions on your insurance, you may choose to wait to make the payment unless you have an emergency. That way if you don’t need to use the insurance you do not have to purchase it. This is not a good idea if you have prequalifying your conditions, since you may save money by having continuous insurance coverage.
If you have lost your job or you have a new job with little or no health insurance, you may choose to continue to use your COBRA insurance coverage. You are allowed to use it up to eighteen months. However, since the cost of COBRA coverage is usually much more than other options you should shop around and compare rates and plans. You may be able to pick up a policy at much less independently, especially if you are single.
You may pay your COBRA insurance directly to your insurance company or you may pay it to a COBRA administrative company. You should watch for the letter explaining the cost of the premium (which will be your previous cost plus the amount your employers paid as well), and where to send payment. You will likely be issued a new insurance card as well. Be sure that you continue to make insurance payments as long as you need the insurance. If you cancel the insurance early you will need to write a letter and contact the company to ccancel the insurance, simply stopping payment will not cancel the policy.
If you opt out of the COBRA option you will receive a letter from your insurance company stating the dates that your were covered under them. This may reduce the waiting period on your new insurance. If you know far enough in advance you may be able to set up a high deductible policy to cover the period of time between insurances. This would help to eliminate a preexisting condition policy on your insurance.