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AC21 Portability after 180 days of 485 filing AC21 Portability after 180 days of 485 filing. Changing employers without affecting green card process.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 12:18 PM
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Exclamation COBRA with AC21 - anyone used?

Hi,

I am joining new job using AC21 provision coming monday. My new employer does not provide medical insurance for the first month. I am eligible for after I complete 1 month.

So my question is: till the time I get medical coverage from new employer (approx. 20 - 30 days), can I invoke COBRA? I heard that one can not invoke COBRA if he or she is employed (only meant for un-employement) is this true?

Also, should I call my current insurance company for COBRA now, or I can wait if I really need to visit a doctor? is there a grace period for this? Because there is a possiblity that I may never would have to visit a doctor for next 20-30 days, but who knows!

Appreciate your answers.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addsf345 View Post
Hi,

I am joining new job using AC21 provision coming monday. My new employer does not provide medical insurance for the first month. I am eligible for after I complete 1 month.

So my question is: till the time I get medical coverage from new employer (approx. 20 - 30 days), can I invoke COBRA? I heard that one can not invoke COBRA if he or she is employed (only meant for un-employement) is this true?

Also, should I call my current insurance company for COBRA now, or I can wait if I really need to visit a doctor? is there a grace period for this? Because there is a possiblity that I may never would have to visit a doctor for next 20-30 days, but who knows!

Appreciate your answers.
As per my knowledge:
You can take up to 60 days to submit COBRA forms.Apply for COBRA only when you used Doctors/Hospitals in these 20-30 days.If don't use doctors/hospitals in these 20-30 days you don't need insurance.You'll automatically get insurance from new company after 20-30 days.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addsf345 View Post
Hi,

I am joining new job using AC21 provision coming monday. My new employer does not provide medical insurance for the first month. I am eligible for after I complete 1 month.

So my question is: till the time I get medical coverage from new employer (approx. 20 - 30 days), can I invoke COBRA? I heard that one can not invoke COBRA if he or she is employed (only meant for un-employement) is this true?

Also, should I call my current insurance company for COBRA now, or I can wait if I really need to visit a doctor? is there a grace period for this? Because there is a possiblity that I may never would have to visit a doctor for next 20-30 days, but who knows!

Appreciate your answers.
Remember that you need to pay the entire cost of insurance from your own pocket for COBRA for whatever time you use it. Typically that's around $500 per month per person (depending upon the coverage, place, etc.). The only benefit of COBRA is that you can keep seeing the same doctor.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 01:00 PM
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Default I have used COBRA and AC21

Quote:
Originally Posted by addsf345 View Post
Hi,

I am joining new job using AC21 provision coming monday. My new employer does not provide medical insurance for the first month. I am eligible for after I complete 1 month.

So my question is: till the time I get medical coverage from new employer (approx. 20 - 30 days), can I invoke COBRA? I heard that one can not invoke COBRA if he or she is employed (only meant for un-employement) is this true?

Also, should I call my current insurance company for COBRA now, or I can wait if I really need to visit a doctor? is there a grace period for this? Because there is a possiblity that I may never would have to visit a doctor for next 20-30 days, but who knows!

Appreciate your answers.
Firstly, COBRA has pretty much nothing to do with AC21.

COBRA is a law related to job loss or job change to an employer who doesnt offer insurance or job change to a new employer who offers insurance only after a certain time (like one month or so).

I think the previous author is right. From the time you lose/resign from previous job, you have 60 days to fill out the COBRA paperwork. Do that as soon as possible, dont wait for 60 days.

Basics : Basically, what COBRA does is allow you to continue your health insurance (as-is without any changes, you cannot change deductibles or switch from HMO to PPO or vice-versa, whatever you had on last day of work, that would continue) at your own expense and the insurance would now be only between you and the insurance company. Your previous employer would be out of the picture. This can continue until 18 months.

Sometimes there is a third party company that will process the paperwork for your cobra and deal with insurance company. This third party company or service provider is usually retained and hired by your previous employer so that they dont have to deal with COBRA paperwork. Just like many employers outsource payroll paperwork to ADP or Paychex etc. So in that case, you would by asked by your previous employer to contact this service provider who will hook you up on COBRA coverage with existing benefits with your insurance provider.

You would be paying the entire premium amount every month. Basically, it can come down to about 1000-1400 dollars a month for a family of 3-4. Amount depends on state and also on your coverage quality.


Payments : Insurance companies are VERY VERY strict about the timeliness of the payment of insurance. If you are late one time, they will yank your insurance. So if you need COBRA be very very prompt about sending the payments.

Alternative work-arounds (Having it both ways) : Here is what some people do. COBRA payments dont begin until about 45-60 days after you stop working for previous employer. So you have 45 - 60 days until you can get on board with your new employer's coverage.

So for 45 to 60 days, if you get COBRA, and you dont see a doctor, you just spend 1000-2000 dollars for nothing. ON the other hand, if you dont enroll and you are in a car wreck, you will be bankrupt for a long long time to come.

But there is a middle ground. Send in the paper-work and fill out all forms to enroll in COBRA. That way, you are formally enrolled in COBRA. However, before the first premium payment is due, (45-60 days later), you might be already on board with new insurance with new employer. So at that time, if you are already with new insurance and then your first payment is due, just dont send the payment. They will cancel the COBRA immediately. But then you have nothing to lose as you didnt need any coverage in intermediate 45-60 days and now you are already with new insurance.

On the flip side, if you actually need coverage (Doctor appt, surgery, etc) during 45-60 days while you are waiting for new insurance, then please send the first (and probably second payment if neccesary) for COBRA so that you are continously covered and your claims are not denied.

This is totally legal and I was advised to do this by my current company's HR. She said "Wing it". To paraphrase her, if you dont need coverage, then dont send payment and let them cancel. If you need coverage, then send them payment so that you are covered while you needed doctor/hospital. It works. No one likes to send a check of 1000-1500 dollars to insurance company for one month COBRA insurance if you end up not needing any benefits at all during that month. Right?

Links on COBRA :

DOL website info : http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/cobra.htm
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Last edited by logiclife; 01-09-2009 at 01:09 PM.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 01:07 PM
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Valid question but please refrain from saying AC21 to draw member attention. AC21 is not relevent for this issue. this seems to be a general job change question. Talk to your HR at either your new company or the old one.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:14 PM
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Default

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Originally Posted by logiclife View Post

Alternative work-arounds (Having it both ways) : Here is what some people do. .............

This is totally legal and I was advised to do this by my current company's HR. She said "Wing it". To paraphrase her, if you dont need coverage, then dont send payment and let them cancel. If you need coverage, then send them payment so that you are covered while you needed doctor/hospital. It works. No one likes to send a check of 1000-1500 dollars to insurance company for one month COBRA insurance if you end up not needing any benefits at all during that month. Right?
I did the same (a few years ago when I was on H1b) and I think its perfectly legal and common practice to do. In fact our HR gave us COBRA documents and written advice to this affect (note: its a well-known company with 100k+ employees at that time; they would not have advised if its not legal)
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:14 PM
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Default DOL FAQ on COBRA Insurance

http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_consumer_cobra.HTML

FAQs About COBRA Continuation Health Coverage

What is COBRA continuation health coverage?

Congress passed the landmark Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) health benefit provisions in 1986. The law amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Internal Revenue Code and the Public Health Service Act to provide continuation of group health coverage that otherwise might be terminated.

What does COBRA do?
COBRA provides certain former employees, retirees, spouses, former spouses, and dependent children the right to temporary continuation of health coverage at group rates. This coverage, however, is only available when coverage is lost due to certain specific events. Group health coverage for COBRA participants is usually more expensive than health coverage for active employees, since usually the employer pays a part of the premium for active employees while COBRA participants generally pay the entire premium themselves. It is ordinarily less expensive, though, than individual health coverage.

Who is entitled to benefits under COBRA?
There are three elements to qualifying for COBRA benefits. COBRA establishes specific criteria for plans, qualified beneficiaries, and qualifying events:

Plan Coverage - Group health plans for employers with 20 or more employees on more than 50 percent of its typical business days in the previous calendar year are subject to COBRA. Both full and part-time employees are counted to determine whether a plan is subject to COBRA. Each part-time employee counts as a fraction of an employee, with the fraction equal to the number of hours that the part-time employee worked divided by the hours an employee must work to be considered full time.

Qualified Beneficiaries - A qualified beneficiary generally is an individual covered by a group health plan on the day before a qualifying event who is either an employee, the employee's spouse, or an employee's dependent child. In certain cases, a retired employee, the retired employee's spouse, and the retired employee's dependent children may be qualified beneficiaries. In addition, any child born to or placed for adoption with a covered employee during the period of COBRA coverage is considered a qualified beneficiary. Agents, independent contractors, and directors who participate in the group health plan may also be qualified beneficiaries.

Qualifying Events - Qualifying events are certain events that would cause an individual to lose health coverage. The type of qualifying event will determine who the qualified beneficiaries are and the amount of time that a plan must offer the health coverage to them under COBRA. A plan, at its discretion, may provide longer periods of continuation coverage.

Qualifying Events for Employees:

Voluntary or involuntary termination of employment for reasons other than gross misconduct

Reduction in the number of hours of employment

Qualifying Events for Spouses:

Voluntary or involuntary termination of the covered employee's employment for any reason other than gross misconduct

Reduction in the hours worked by the covered employee

Covered employee's becoming entitled to Medicare

Divorce or legal separation of the covered employee

Death of the covered employee

Qualifying Events for Dependent Children:

Loss of dependent child status under the plan rules

Voluntary or involuntary termination of the covered employee's employment for any reason other than gross misconduct

Reduction in the hours worked by the covered employee

Covered employee's becoming entitled to Medicare

Divorce or legal separation of the covered employee

Death of the covered employee

How does a person become eligible for COBRA continuation coverage?
To be eligible for COBRA coverage, you must have been enrolled in your employer's health plan when you worked and the health plan must continue to be in effect for active employees. COBRA continuation coverage is available upon the occurrence of a qualifying event that would, except for the COBRA continuation coverage, cause an individual to lose his or her health care coverage.

What group health plans are subject to COBRA?
The law generally covers health plans maintained by private-sector employers with 20 or more employees, employee organizations, or state or local governments.

What process must individuals follow to elect COBRA continuation coverage?
Employers must notify plan administrators of a qualifying event within 30 days after an employee's death, termination, reduced hours of employment or entitlement to Medicare.

A qualified beneficiary must notify the plan administrator of a qualifying event within 60 days after divorce or legal separation or a child's ceasing to be covered as a dependent under plan rules.

Plan participants and beneficiaries generally must be sent an election notice not later than 14 days after the plan administrator receives notice that a qualifying event has occurred. The individual then has 60 days to decide whether to elect COBRA continuation coverage. The person has 45 days after electing coverage to pay the initial premium.

How long after a qualifying event do I have to elect COBRA coverage?

Qualified beneficiaries must be given an election period during which each qualified beneficiary may choose whether to elect COBRA coverage. Each qualified beneficiary may independently elect COBRA coverage. A covered employee or the covered employee's spouse may elect COBRA coverage on behalf of all other qualified beneficiaries. A parent or legal guardian may elect on behalf of a minor child. Qualified beneficiaries must be given at least 60 days for the election. This period is measured from the later of the coverage loss date or the date the COBRA election notice is provided by the employer or plan administrator. The election notice must be provided in person or by first class mail within 14 days after the plan administrator receives notice that a qualifying event has occurred.

How do I file a COBRA claim for benefits?

Health plan rules must explain how to obtain benefits and must include written procedures for processing claims. Claims procedures must be described in the Summary Plan Description.

You should submit a claim for benefits in accordance with the plan's rules for filing claims. If the claim is denied, you must be given notice of the denial in writing generally within 90 days after the claim is filed. The notice should state the reasons for the denial, any additional information needed to support the claim, and procedures for appealing the denial.

You will have at least 60 days to appeal a denial and you must receive a decision on the appeal generally within 60 days after that.

Contact the plan administrator for more information on filing a claim for benefits. Complete plan rules are available from employers or benefits offices. There can be charges up to 25 cents a page for copies of plan rules.

Can individuals qualify for longer periods of COBRA continuation coverage?
Yes, disability can extend the 18 month period of continuation coverage for a qualifying event that is a termination of employment or reduction of hours. To qualify for additional months of COBRA continuation coverage, the qualified beneficiary must:

Have a ruling from the Social Security Administration that he or she became disabled within the first 60 days of COBRA continuation coverage

Send the plan a copy of the Social Security ruling letter within 60 days of receipt, but prior to expiration of the 18-month period of coverage

If these requirements are met, the entire family qualifies for an additional 11 months of COBRA continuation coverage. Plans can charge 150% of the premium cost for the extended period of coverage.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 01:15 PM
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Default Continued...

Is a divorced spouse entitled to COBRA coverage from their former spouses’ group health plan?
Under COBRA, participants, covered spouses and dependent children may continue their plan coverage for a limited time when they would otherwise lose coverage due to a particular event, such as divorce (or legal separation). A covered employee’s spouse who would lose coverage due to a divorce may elect continuation coverage under the plan for a maximum of 36 months. A qualified beneficiary must notify the plan administrator of a qualifying event within 60 days after divorce or legal separation. After being notified of a divorce, the plan administrator must give notice, generally within 14 days, to the qualified beneficiary of the right to elect COBRA continuation coverage.

Divorced spouses may call their plan administrator or the EBSA Toll-Free number, 1.866.444.EBSA (3272) if they have questions about COBRA continuation coverage or their rights under ERISA.

If I waive COBRA coverage during the election period, can I still get coverage at a later date?
If a qualified beneficiary waives COBRA coverage during the election period, he or she may revoke the waiver of coverage before the end of the election period. A beneficiary may then elect COBRA coverage. Then, the plan need only provide continuation coverage beginning on the date the waiver is revoked.

Under COBRA, what benefits must be covered?
Qualified beneficiaries must be offered coverage identical to that available to similarly situated beneficiaries who are not receiving COBRA coverage under the plan (generally, the same coverage that the qualified beneficiary had immediately before qualifying for continuation coverage). A change in the benefits under the plan for the active employees will also apply to qualified beneficiaries. Qualified beneficiaries must be allowed to make the same choices given to non-COBRA beneficiaries under the plan, such as during periods of open enrollment by the plan.

When does COBRA coverage begin?
COBRA coverage begins on the date that health care coverage would otherwise have been lost by reason of a qualifying event.

How long does COBRA coverage last?
COBRA establishes required periods of coverage for continuation health benefits. A plan, however, may provide longer periods of coverage beyond those required by COBRA. COBRA beneficiaries generally are eligible for group coverage during a maximum of 18 months for qualifying events due to employment termination or reduction of hours of work. Certain qualifying events, or a second qualifying event during the initial period of coverage, may permit a beneficiary to receive a maximum of 36 months of coverage.

Coverage begins on the date that coverage would otherwise have been lost by reason of a qualifying event and will end at the end of the maximum period. It may end earlier if:

Premiums are not paid on a timely basis

The employer ceases to maintain any group health plan

After the COBRA election, coverage is obtained with another employer group health plan that does not contain any exclusion or limitation with respect to any pre-existing condition of such beneficiary. However, if other group health coverage is obtained prior to the COBRA election, COBRA coverage may not be discontinued, even if the other coverage continues after the COBRA election.

After the COBRA election, a beneficiary becomes entitled to Medicare benefits. However, if Medicare is obtained prior to COBRA election, COBRA coverage may not be discontinued, even if the other coverage continues after the COBRA election.

Although COBRA specifies certain periods of time that continued health coverage must be offered to qualified beneficiaries, COBRA does not prohibit plans from offering continuation health coverage that goes beyond the COBRA periods.

Some plans allow participants and beneficiaries to convert group health coverage to an individual policy. If this option is generally available from the plan, a qualified beneficiary who pays for COBRA coverage must be given the option of converting to an individual policy at the end of the COBRA continuation coverage period. The option must be given to enroll in a conversion health plan within 180 days before COBRA coverage ends. The premium for a conversion policy may be more expensive than the premium of a group plan, and the conversion policy may provide a lower level of coverage. The conversion option, however, is not available if the beneficiary ends COBRA coverage before reaching the end of the maximum period of COBRA coverage.

Who pays for COBRA coverage?
Beneficiaries may be required to pay for COBRA coverage. The premium cannot exceed 102 percent of the cost to the plan for similarly situated individuals who have not incurred a qualifying event, including both the portion paid by employees and any portion paid by the employer before the qualifying event, plus 2 percent for administrative costs.

For qualified beneficiaries receiving the 11 month disability extension of coverage, the premium for those additional months may be increased to 150 percent of the plan's total cost of coverage.

COBRA premiums may be increased if the costs to the plan increase but generally must be fixed in advance of each 12-month premium cycle. The plan must allow you to pay premiums on a monthly basis if you ask to do so, and the plan may allow you to make payments at other intervals (weekly or quarterly).

The initial premium payment must be made within 45 days after the date of the COBRA election by the qualified beneficiary. Payment generally must cover the period of coverage from the date of COBRA election retroactive to the date of the loss of coverage due to the qualifying event. Premiums for successive periods of coverage are due on the date stated in the plan with a minimum 30-day grace period for payments. Payment is considered to be made on the date it is sent to the plan.

If premiums are not paid by the first day of the period of coverage, the plan has the option to cancel coverage until payment is received and then reinstate coverage retroactively to the beginning of the period of coverage.

If the amount of the payment made to the plan is made in error but is not significantly less than the amount due, the plan is required to notify you of the deficiency and grant a reasonable period (for this purpose, 30 days is considered reasonable) to pay the difference. The plan is not obligated to send monthly premium notices.

COBRA beneficiaries remain subject to the rules of the plan and therefore must satisfy all costs related to co-payments and deductibles, and are subject to catastrophic and other benefit limits.

If I elect COBRA, how much do I pay?
When you were an active employee, your employer may have paid all or part of your group health premiums. Under COBRA, as a former employee no longer receiving benefits, you will usually pay the entire premium amount, that is, the portion of the premium that you paid as an active employee and the amount of the contribution made by your employer. In addition, there may be a 2 percent administrative fee.

While COBRA rates may seem high, you will be paying group premium rates, which are usually lower than individual rates.

Since it is likely that there will be a lapse of a month or more between the date of layoff and the time you make the COBRA election decision, you may have to pay health premiums retroactively-from the time of separation from the company. The first premium, for instance, will cover the entire time since your last day of employment with your former employer.

You should also be aware that it is your responsibility to pay for COBRA coverage even if you do not receive a monthly statement.

Although they are not required to do so, some employers may subsidize COBRA coverage.

Can I receive COBRA benefits while on FMLA leave?
The Family and Medical Leave Act, effective August 5, 1993, requires an employer to maintain coverage under any group health plan for an employee on FMLA leave under the same conditions coverage would have been provided if the employee had continued working. Coverage provided under the FMLA is not COBRA coverage, and FMLA leave is not a qualifying event under COBRA. A COBRA qualifying event may occur, however, when an employer's obligation to maintain health benefits under FMLA ceases, such as when an employee notifies an employer of his or her intent not to return to work.

Further information on FMLA is available from the nearest office of the Wage and Hour Division, listed in most telephone directories under U.S. Government, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 01:16 PM
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Default Continue...part 3 of 3 from DOL website.

What is the Federal Government's role in COBRA?
COBRA continuation coverage laws are administered by several agencies. The Departments of Labor and Treasury have jurisdiction over private-sector health group health plans. The Department of Health and Human Services administers the continuation coverage law as it affects public-sector health plans.

The Labor Department's interpretive and regulatory responsibility is limited to the disclosure and notification requirements of COBRA. If you need further information on your disclosure or notification rights under a private-sector plan, or about ERISA generally, telephone EBSA's Toll-Free number at: 1.866.444.3272, or write to:

U.S. Department of Labor
Employee Benefits Security Administration
Division of Technical Assistance and Inquiries
200 Constitution Avenue NW, Suite N-5619
Washington, DC 20210

The Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury, has issued regulations on COBRA provisions relating to eligibility, coverage and premiums in 26 CFR Part 54, Continuation Coverage Requirements Applicable to Group Health Plans. Both the Departments of Labor and Treasury share jurisdiction for enforcement of these provisions.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services offers information about COBRA provisions for public-sector employees. You can write them at this address:

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Mail Stop C1-22-06
Baltimore, MD 21244-1850
Tel 1.877.267.2323 x61565

I am a federal employee. Can I receive benefits under COBRA?
Federal employees are covered by a law similar to COBRA. Those employees should contact the personnel office serving their agency for more information on temporary extensions of health benefits.

Am I eligible for COBRA if my company closed or went bankrupt and there is no health plan?
If there is no longer a health plan, there is no COBRA coverage available. If, however, there is another plan offered by the company, you may be covered under that plan. Union members who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement that provides for a medical plan also may be entitled to continued coverage.

How do I find out about COBRA coverage and how do I elect to take it?

Employers or health plan administrators must provide an initial general notice if you are entitled to COBRA benefits. You probably received the initial notice about COBRA coverage when you were hired.

When you are no longer eligible for health coverage, your employer has to provide you with a specific notice regarding your rights to COBRA continuation benefits.

Employers must notify their plan administrators within 30 days after an employee's termination or after a reduction in hours that causes and employee to lose health benefits.

The plan administrator must provide notice to individual employees of their right to elect COBRA coverage within 14 days after the administrator has received notice from the employer.

You must respond to this notice and elect COBRA coverage by the 60th day after the written notice is sent or the day health care coverage ceased, whichever is later. Otherwise, you will lose all rights to COBRA benefits.

Spouses and dependent children covered under your health plan have an independent right to elect COBRA coverage upon your termination or reduction in hours. If, for instance, you have a family member with an illness at the time you are laid off, that person alone can elect coverage.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 01:26 PM
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Excellent thanks for explaining so clearly.... gave u a green !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by logiclife View Post
What is the Federal Government's role in COBRA?
COBRA continuation coverage laws are administered by several agencies. The Departments of Labor and Treasury have jurisdiction over private-sector health group health plans. The Department of Health and Human Services administers the continuation coverage law as it affects public-sector health plans.

The Labor Department's interpretive and regulatory responsibility is limited to the disclosure and notification requirements of COBRA. If you need further information on your disclosure or notification rights under a private-sector plan, or about ERISA generally, telephone EBSA's Toll-Free number at: 1.866.444.3272, or write to:

U.S. Department of Labor
Employee Benefits Security Administration
Division of Technical Assistance and Inquiries
200 Constitution Avenue NW, Suite N-5619
Washington, DC 20210

The Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury, has issued regulations on COBRA provisions relating to eligibility, coverage and premiums in 26 CFR Part 54, Continuation Coverage Requirements Applicable to Group Health Plans. Both the Departments of Labor and Treasury share jurisdiction for enforcement of these provisions.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services offers information about COBRA provisions for public-sector employees. You can write them at this address:

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Mail Stop C1-22-06
Baltimore, MD 21244-1850
Tel 1.877.267.2323 x61565

I am a federal employee. Can I receive benefits under COBRA?
Federal employees are covered by a law similar to COBRA. Those employees should contact the personnel office serving their agency for more information on temporary extensions of health benefits.

Am I eligible for COBRA if my company closed or went bankrupt and there is no health plan?
If there is no longer a health plan, there is no COBRA coverage available. If, however, there is another plan offered by the company, you may be covered under that plan. Union members who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement that provides for a medical plan also may be entitled to continued coverage.

How do I find out about COBRA coverage and how do I elect to take it?

Employers or health plan administrators must provide an initial general notice if you are entitled to COBRA benefits. You probably received the initial notice about COBRA coverage when you were hired.

When you are no longer eligible for health coverage, your employer has to provide you with a specific notice regarding your rights to COBRA continuation benefits.

Employers must notify their plan administrators within 30 days after an employee's termination or after a reduction in hours that causes and employee to lose health benefits.

The plan administrator must provide notice to individual employees of their right to elect COBRA coverage within 14 days after the administrator has received notice from the employer.

You must respond to this notice and elect COBRA coverage by the 60th day after the written notice is sent or the day health care coverage ceased, whichever is later. Otherwise, you will lose all rights to COBRA benefits.

Spouses and dependent children covered under your health plan have an independent right to elect COBRA coverage upon your termination or reduction in hours. If, for instance, you have a family member with an illness at the time you are laid off, that person alone can elect coverage.
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logiclife View Post
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_consumer_cobra.HTML

FAQs About COBRA Continuation Health Coverage
Thanks for posting detailed info on COBRA.

In the current tough market its useful to get educated on all things we may need in case of a job loss. It may be useful to save this info in IV resource pages somehow (or as a blog).
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 01:37 PM
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Also I agree what Logiclife said when it comes to payments..

I went thru COBRA for the last 2 months I tell you its a PAIN IN THE A##.
Yeah premiums are very high. due to some gross miscommuniation on the provider they cancelled my COBRA for december since they didnt recieve payment.

ONce you quit our current job, you will get within 7-10 days details from ur current insurance cpmpany or a third party administrator which ur company uses. They will also send a payment coupon. (not a discount coupon..).

I hope your new company is paying the COBRA reimbursements for you...if not there is a loop hole in COBRA taht you can use and NOT pay the payments since you will have grace period. HOWEVER please keep in mind that the new insurance with your new company may have some restrictions on pre existing conditions...so keep an eye on that..since its for 30 days you will get on to a new insurance personally I wouldnt care for CBORA if the premiums are too high, why becuase, remember the coverage is RETROACTIVE, so you can get a claim reimbursed later after within the grace period

references for you

http://www.tnhis.com/excchangingjobs.htm

http://stressless.savingadvice.com/2...oophole_30504/
(good and clear one above)

hope this helps and good luck in ur new jobb...remember to hcange the ADDRESS woth you insurance company...
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 01:46 PM
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the two reasons why you would want to enroll in COBRA are:

1. insuring yourself and family for the one month or so. without insurance, everything is expensive.
2. PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. If you are without insurance for some time period that time period is deducted from the typical 6 month or so waiting period of coverage of pre-existing conditions. But I think even in this case there is some grace period of 30-60 days. I suspect if you were covered 30-60 days prior to start of coverage by an employer sponsored plan, then the waiting period is waived. but you need to read the fine print for this.

hope this helps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by addsf345 View Post
Hi,

I am joining new job using AC21 provision coming monday. My new employer does not provide medical insurance for the first month. I am eligible for after I complete 1 month.

So my question is: till the time I get medical coverage from new employer (approx. 20 - 30 days), can I invoke COBRA? I heard that one can not invoke COBRA if he or she is employed (only meant for un-employement) is this true?

Also, should I call my current insurance company for COBRA now, or I can wait if I really need to visit a doctor? is there a grace period for this? Because there is a possiblity that I may never would have to visit a doctor for next 20-30 days, but who knows!

Appreciate your answers.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 01:49 PM
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BUt keep in mind that when you enroll in a GROUP insurance which is typically your new insruance with you new company..most of the companies DONT have any restrictions on the pre existing condnitions, per my experience.

however if you buy a individual pocliy they will unload on you a TON of restrictions...no wonder why we see many old people working in Walmart and other places just for insurance..God save us when we get old
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 01:52 PM
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Default health insurance payment deducted in advance

If you look carefully health insurance payments are deducted in advance from the paycheck. So if say you join the new company in February the old company's paycheck at the end of January should be deducting health insurance for February. Therefore if the new company provides health insurance from March you should still be covered without requiring COBRA.
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