What does COBRA stand for? Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
What is COBRA? Essentially COBRA is a law that gives certain rights to employees (and their dependents) that have or have recently had health insurance through their employer.
What kind of Rights? Well, there are many, but here is a basic summary:
Continuation of Coverage: If an employee loses their coverage, in many circumstances they have the right to continue all or some of their coverage benefits.
Ability to add or remove dependents: If someone elects to continue their coverage through the COBRA guidelines and has dependents or gains dependents, they can add or remove them in the same way that an active employee can.
During open enrollment a person on coverage through the COBRA guidelines can change their coverage almost as much as an active employee. The main exception to that is with Flexible Spending Accounts. A former employee that maintains their group coverage loses the option of a Flexible Spending Account at the first open enrollment following their change in status as an employee. There is no change in their eligibility for other coverage options like Dental, Chiropractic, Vision, and Health Insurance.
How can our office help?
Business: We can advise your company on the best practices and your obligations in regards to COBRA. We don't just sell health insurance. We provide service to the businesses that purchase through us. Our trained staff is constantly being updated on the current guidelines and regulations regarding insurance and we can pass on that knowledge to you and your employees.
Employees: Our office can help you analyze your options. COBRA is a great way to keep your coverage and maintain continuity of care. However, there are often cheaper options with individual health insurance. Our insurance agents are trained on both individual and group coverage. Therefore, we can look at both options and give you the information you need to make the best possible decision.
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