• COBRA

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is a federally protected law that was created to provide covered employees and their immediate families with temporary continued access to employer sponsored group health insurance benefits when such access will otherwise be terminated. For many, COBRA is a viable option when they are put in this situation.

For others, the expense and impermanent nature of COBRA make for an un-wanted temporary solution, and they find that individual health policies or short term health insurance plans work best. In order to determine if COBRA is right for you, it is important to fully understand what COBRA offers. Once you have an understanding of how COBRA works, compare your other options to find what best suits your medical and financial needs.

COBRA Eligibility

COBRA was designed to provide temporary continuing coverage for employees, their spouses, ex-spouses, and dependant children. It does not apply to everyone though, as eligibility is reliant on limited conditions. You may be eligible for a COBRA plan if you are currently or were recently (within 60 days of leaving the workplace) employed by a company that had more than 20 employees and offered group health insurance at the time of the qualifying event. A qualifying event for a COBRA plan is one in which the life or employment situation of an individual changes in a way that causes an individual's coverage to be terminated. These events include:

  • Termination of employment (death, retirement, dismissal, resignation)
  • Reduction of working hours
  • Divorce (spouse)
  • Loss of ĘdependentĘ status (child)

If you are un-certain about your eligibility for COBRA and want to make sure you and your family are covered, you should also explore individual health plan options.

Coverage with COBRA

The COBRA plan offers health coverage to a terminated employee for a maximum of 18 months, sometimes less depending on how you qualify for the plan, and the family of an employee for up to 36 months, offering the same benefits as the initial group health care policy. It is important to note that COBRA only covers medical insurance, and does not include life insurance or disability coverage. The following are some of the benefits offered by a COBRA health plan:

  • Inpatient and outpatient hospital care
  • Physician care
  • Surgery
  • Prescription drugs
  • Other medical benefits, such as dental and vision care
     

UNDERSTANDING TYPES OF HEALTH COVERAGE

Today, more choices for healthcare exist than ever before. This only increases the need to educate yourself about the numerous different types of health insurance plans. There are several types of insurance plans, and many different healthcare providers for each type of plan.
  • Dental Insurance Coverage

Dental Insurance refers to a contract in which a consumer pays premium in return for contracted dental services. Consumers may choose a plan which offers discounts on specified dental services performed by providers that are contracted with the organization. Many consumers simply receive dental service benefits as part of a larger healthcare insurance policy.

Dental Insurance Health Plans and Carriers

Consumers can chose a plan in which their dental care is managed by a Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO). DHMOs typically charge the lowest premiums and provide the most comprehensive coverage. Fee for service, or Direct Reimbursement, plans provide the most freedom of choice for consumers. With this type of plan a patients may pick any dental practitioner and clinic of their choosing. The plan pays a percentage for the service and the patient pays the remainder of the fee.

Vision Insurance Coverage

Vision insurance refers to a contract between a consumer and an insurance organization which provides vision care in return for a premium. In exchange for their premium payments, consumers usually receive eye examinations (given by doctors and clinics contracted with the insurance organization) and corrective eyewear. Exactly how much of the fees are covered varies according to the specifics of the plan.

Even if you have perfect vision, proper preventative eye care is an essential practice towards ensuring the health of your vision in the years to come . The most important step is receiving routine examinations from a qualified eye care professional. Individuals between the ages of 20 to 40 are recommended an exam every 5 years or so, provided no visual changes or injury has occurred. Individuals over the age of 40 should have an exam every 2 years or so.

Typical Features and Benefits of Vision Coverage
Plan features and benefits will vary depending on the provider, but features typically discounted include:

  • Eye examinations
  • Surgical procedures - including Lasik procedures where available.
  • Frames
  • Lenses
  • Contact Lenses
  • Non-prescription sunglasses
 

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This site is for informational purposes only, contact a licensed agent for plans available in your state.  To Email a request for additional information Click Here: