COBRA and plan changes...

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Batousai
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:21 am

COBRA and plan changes...

Post by Batousai » Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:56 pm

I've received wonderful and very insightful advise on my questions, so I've come with another. I'm considering voluntary separation of my employer before the end of the year to change to a new job. As I mentioned in my last post/question, I currently have a PPO and if I stayed with the company would be forced to change to an HSA after the new year. The company is self insured and has a plan administrator. The new job I am considering is a much smaller company and will likely have lesser benefits. I expect to learn the intricate details of those benefits along with receive a job offer sometime next week. However, in typical boglehead fashion I want to explore my options before I'm forced to make a decision. Again, as I mentioned in my last question my wife and I are expecting a child on/around Jan 4. If I went with this opportunity, I'd obviously have the option to elect coverage under COBRA. My question is if I elect the Cobra, would I get the PPO at the turn of the new year or would I be forced to select one of the HSA options? I ask because the difference between the two is a few thousand dollars in expected costs. Reading the DOL's website's FAQ on COBRA I find the following:
Any change made to the plan's terms that apply to similarly situated active employees and their families will also apply to qualified beneficiaries receiving COBRA continuation coverage.
I don't know if this means in regards to my situation. Obviously if they continued to offer the PPO and the details changed, my details would change as well. However what happens if they remove the PPO option and replace it with an HSA?

Bfwolf
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Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:19 am

Re: COBRA and plan changes...

Post by Bfwolf » Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:08 pm

I don't know the answer to your question, but my spidey sense tells me that once the PPO is gone, you've got to switch to the high deductible plan.

I don't suppose getting induced on 12/31 is a possiblity huh?

Batousai
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:21 am

Re: COBRA and plan changes...

Post by Batousai » Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:39 am

Bfwolf wrote:I don't know the answer to your question, but my spidey sense tells me that once the PPO is gone, you've got to switch to the high deductible plan.

I don't suppose getting induced on 12/31 is a possiblity huh?
I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a possibility we were exploring.

ShowMeTheER
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 9:12 am

Re: COBRA and plan changes...

Post by ShowMeTheER » Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:36 am

You will be entitled only to the choices that the active employees have... so it'll be HSA only after the plan year changes, no matter your status.

dolphinsaremammals
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Re: COBRA and plan changes...

Post by dolphinsaremammals » Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:19 am

Batousai wrote:
Bfwolf wrote:I don't know the answer to your question, but my spidey sense tells me that once the PPO is gone, you've got to switch to the high deductible plan.

I don't suppose getting induced on 12/31 is a possiblity huh?
I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a possibility we were exploring.
Jan 4, 12/31... I wouldn't do anything with the slightest chance of harming the baby, but starting things early enough so that all normal medical care is done by the end of the year sounds ... interesting... Plus tax beneficial. I think, one extra deduction.

Batousai
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:21 am

Re: COBRA and plan changes...

Post by Batousai » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:38 pm

ShowMeTheER wrote:You will be entitled only to the choices that the active employees have... so it'll be HSA only after the plan year changes, no matter your status.
Ok, that's what I was afraid of. Not surprising, but was hoping otherwise as it'd would be a couple thousand more as a result.

Batousai
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:21 am

Re: COBRA and plan changes...

Post by Batousai » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:39 pm

dolphinsaremammals wrote:
Batousai wrote:
Bfwolf wrote:I don't know the answer to your question, but my spidey sense tells me that once the PPO is gone, you've got to switch to the high deductible plan.

I don't suppose getting induced on 12/31 is a possiblity huh?
I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a possibility we were exploring.
Jan 4, 12/31... I wouldn't do anything with the slightest chance of harming the baby, but starting things early enough so that all normal medical care is done by the end of the year sounds ... interesting... Plus tax beneficial. I think, one extra deduction.
Yeah, ultimately I'd spend a lot of money if I could guarantee a healthy baby. If there's no predicted difference to the baby though, it's finanically much cheaper if you induced 12/27 or so...

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GerryL
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Re: COBRA and plan changes...

Post by GerryL » Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:07 am

COBRA can be pretty pricey -- unless the company is offering to pay for it as part of the voluntary separation package (as mine did). Are you looking at other options through an ACA marketplace?

Neverstoplearning
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Re: COBRA and plan changes...

Post by Neverstoplearning » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:13 pm

"Morbidity and mortality rates are greater among neonates and infants delivered during the early-term period compared with those delivered between 39 weeks and 40 weeks of gestation." http://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publi ... Deliveries

A friend of mine induced at 38 weeks, assured it was perfectly safe and more convenient. She ended up with a c section and a baby in NICU.

mwm158
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Re: COBRA and plan changes...

Post by mwm158 » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:34 pm

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Last edited by mwm158 on Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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baw703916
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Re: COBRA and plan changes...

Post by baw703916 » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:45 pm

So if someone has a high deductible/HSA plan via COBRA, can they always contribute to their HSA, even though they are no longer working for that employer?
Most of my posts assume no behavioral errors.

mhalley
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Re: COBRA and plan changes...

Post by mhalley » Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:31 pm

You can contribute to the hsa even though no longer employed at that company. You just need to setup your own hsa account and contribute the money yourself, rather than having it deducted from your paycheck and/or your employer contributing money.
Mike

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