The Federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows retiring employees, or those who lose coverage due to quitting a job or reduced work hours, to continue group coverage for a limited period of time. This also applies to their dependents who lose coverage because of divorce or legal separation; death of the covered employee; the covered employee qualifying for Medicare; or a loss of dependent status under the health plan’s provisions. COBRA applies only to employers with 20 or more employees.
If you qualify for COBRA benefits, your health-plan administrator must give you a notice stating your right to choose to continue benefits provided by the plan. You then have 60 days to accept coverage or lose all rights to the benefits. Once you select COBRA coverage, you may have to pay 100 percent of the total insurance cost, plus a two percent processing fee.
If you work for an employer that has over 20 full-time employees. Then federal COBRA law applies, go to COBRA summary
If you work for an employer that
has under 20 full-time employees. New York has a state continuation program (similar to COBRA). Plans with 2-19 employees may be eligible for up to 18 months of continuation coverage.Contact your previous employer and ask him/her to give you your COBRA papers so that you may see how much it is to continue your health insurance through the group plan.
If you have preexisting conditions or pregnant you should try to get on another group plan (or pay for COBRA) as quick as you can or contact your local insurance state department to see what they have available for you. Many states have a guaranteed issue health insurance plan for individuals who cannot secure coverage through a private health insurer. Check out our Uninsurable State Risk Pools Resource page .