Archive for the ‘COBRA’ Category

Elect COBRA or Get Obamacare?

COBRA-or-Obamacare-two-signs-cartoonElect COBRA or Get Obamacare? Health Care Reform (Obamacare, The Affordable Care Act, ACA) may dramatically change the number of terminated employees that elect COBRA.  Why?  Because Obamacare has created many more options for terminated employees, including the possibility of receiving an advance premium tax credit (also known as subsidy)  for terminated employees that qualify.

What exactly is COBRA, and why was it the only option for terminated employees prior to Obamacare?

COBRA sticker shock, why is it so expensive?

Author: Kelley Filice Jensen

Being laid off or fired from a job is horrible.   A million worries go through your mind at once including whether you will have enough money to survive until you get a new job and what to do about the health insurance you received through your employer’s health plan.  It is a relief to hear that you can continue on your former employer’s health plan for 18 months, until you hear that you will have to pay the premiums previously paid by your former employer.  How can it be so expensive?  This is the dilemma of COBRA Health Insurance Coverage.

Temporary Medical Insurance Plans

Author: Kelley Filice Jensen

Temporary Medical Insurance might sound like a good idea if you are in between jobs, have a waiting period before benefits eligibility at your new job, were recently laid off….but, what is the difference and savings between an individual medical insurance plan and a temporary medical insurance plan, and are there worthwhile savings on with a temporary plan?

What is temporary medical insurance and how is it different than regular individual insurance?

Temporary medical insurance plans expire after a period of time, and regular individual medical insurance plans do not.

Filing for Divorce and Group Health Insurance

Author: Michelle Montoya, MLR, SPHR

Client question:

Will filing of a divorce be enough to cancel a spouse from coverage on our Company’s health insurance plan and be offered COBRA?


No. The qualifying event is the date of the divorce decree (or legal separation). Merely filing for divorce is not considered a qualifying event, and will not render the spouse automatically eligible for COBRA. Courts often order a spouse to be reinstated on insurance plans if dropped before final divorce decree or legal separation, at which point, back premiums will be due, and can be quite expensive.


Right now, many individuals are at a crossroad when it comes to their health insurance.  During this exasperating recession, people found themselves laid off from their jobs suddenly, and, in a scramble, elected to stay on their former employer’s health insurance plan through COBRA instead of finding alternatives to COBRA health insurance.

Employee, Freelance worker, Independent Contractor….What am I and why do I care?

Work has never been so complicated.  Do you WORK at a Company, or DO work for a Company?  While this might seem like nothing but semantics, the difference in your employment status is real and relevant in almost every way, for both you and the Companies you conduct business with.  Your classification as an employee, or a freelance worker, also known as independent contractor, determines your payment of taxes, the type of taxes you pay, you eligibility for health insurance and other benefits, and, in many cases, your very wages.

COBRA too expensive for many unemployed

For many unemployed Americans, the cost of maintaining COBRA health insurance is just too expensive.COBRA, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, has as main goal to make health insurance available to unemployed Americans. The plan typically provides 18 months of health insurance to workers who have been laid off or fired from their jobs. Under COBRA, the unemployed individual must pay the full cost of the health insurance premium, plus administrative fees.The cost of COBRA can be staggering, because COBRA rates are based on group insurance, traditionally much more costly than individual health insurance rates. So, if an individual that has just lost their job, in this time of record high unemployment, and they do not know how long their will be out of work, paying for COBRA may not be an option. It is understandable that given this dilemma, many individuals who have just lost their job join the ranks of the uninsured, rather than elect COBRA.It is evident that the theory behind COBRA is a good one, but the reality is that it is not a reasonable alternative for the unemployed. A better alternative is individual health insurance coverage that a person buys themselves. There is no expiration on an individual policy, traditionally the cost is a fraction of what COBRA is, for identical coverage.

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