COBRA Insurance--Your Protection Even After Termination - By: Peter Finch
In 1986, The Consolidation Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) was made into a law giving employees the chance to enjoy their company-sponsored health benefits even after they have severed ties with that company.
Getting a health insurance policy for yourself does not come cheap. It is expensive, not to mention tedious. You will have to wait for the application process to finish and go through the first step all over again in terms of medical coverage, preexisting conditions and all that. COBRA ensures that even after leaving your job, you can still take advantage of the group policy even when you are not connected in any way with the company that bought the original policy.
The premium of the group policy that you will pay will be slightly higher than what you used to pay when you were still connected with your company but getting a new insurance outside of the group policy is still more expensive. So while retaining your health insurance and paying for the share that your former company used to shoulder makes a sizeable dent to your pocket, it is still a lot cheaper compared to getting a new health insurance on your own.
Perhaps one of the most important factors that make COBRA really useful is that it allows you to continue your medical history with the insurer. Any preexisting conditions that have already been allowed will continue to be covered. Any condition that you have just been afflicted with will be covered. If you file or apply for a new insurance policy, these will not hold true. All those conditions will be treated as preexisting conditions and as such, will not be covered by your new insurance policy.
Before completely leaving your company or employer, make sure that you have all the data that you will need to continue your health insurance by way of COBRA. Ask the personnel head and any other people who are privy to the details of the group policy for the things that you need to know in order to take full advantage of the chance offered by a COBRA insurance. There will definitely be changes and adjustments to the policy and usually, it is advisable to comply with all the necessary requisites and complete all the paperwork that need to be done in order for your COBRA insurance to be updated.
Usually, company-sponsored medical and other insurance packages are paid annually and are therefore effective for one full year. In normal circumstances, the alteration of the policy is not allowed and considered legit. Any changes or modifications to the insurance policy may only be implemented for life-changing events such as an employment termination, marriage, death of a spouse, giving birth or a divorce.
Because an employment termination is considered a legal ground for modifying an insurance policy within its enrollment period, you can make your desired changes to your policy as soon as possible. You can either upgrade or downgrade your insurance package, add or remove dependents and many others.
COBRA insurance gives you that assurance that even without a regular employment or connection to the company that originally purchased the health insurance, you can still enjoy its benefits and continue to do so for as long as you like by paying its premiums on your own and assuming the share that used to be paid by the company. COBRA insurance sees to it that you are well-protected and covered by an insurance policy that suits you best even after leaving your job.
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