G-Money wrote: ↑
Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:43 pm
I will be leaving my current job at the end of the month. Health insurance at my new employer begins on the 31st day of employment. We’re expecting a baby in mid-July. Spouse and children are and will be covered under my health insurance policy.
What I think I know:
- Coverage under COBRA can be elected within 60 days of separation, with the first premium payment due 45 days after separation.
- Coverage can be elected for spouse (who was covered under plan during employment) without electing coverage for employee or other beneficiaries (for example, other children).
- Newborns can obtain coverage under COBRA within 30 days of birth
Now for my questions:
- Does the employee need to elect coverage for himself and/or all other beneficiaries for a newborn to be eligible to get coverage under COBRA? Or is it sufficient for the non-employee spouse to be the only one covered?
- Does the requirement to pay premiums within 45 days of separation apply to subsequently-added newborns? How does this work as a practical matter? Assume the baby is born later in the month, i.e., late July, and the Social Security # is not obtained until more than 45 days after separation.
Although this is not my first rodeo as a parent, I’ve never needed to navigate COBRA before. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
1. COBRA coverage has to be elected within 60 days of the coverage termination or when the notice is sent out. Most companies outsource COBRA these days, so typically companies go by the notice period, which typically gives you a few extra days.
2. Correct, coverage can be continued for your Spouse only. However, and this is a big however, some plans will reset the deductible/out of pocket maximum if you change tiers mid-year, which this would be. Make sure to call the insurance company and check your summary plan description for more information. Some people get some nasty surprises when they change tiers or plans mid year and get a very large hospital bill in the mail.
3. You have 45 days from the date of enrollment to make the first payment even if you add on new dependents via a qualified life event. So, you can't enroll on day 50, wait until day 90 and then notify the COBRA administrator that on day 80, you had a baby and to add them, so you get 45 more days to pay. You would still have to pay. in that case, on day 95.
What you should do if you are concerned with coverage at your new employer: Wait until five or so days before the end of the 60 day window, which would be printed on your COBRA Enrollment Notice. Enroll your newborn immediately after they are born, wait until day 90 (5 days before the end of the window to make the first payment) to decide if you want to pay the coverage for those three months.
Here is a huge misconception with newborns. You do not need the SSN to add them to coverage. There is an exception to add newborns to coverage without an SSN. Do not wait until you get their SSN.
Best of luck and congratulations!