COBRA grace period

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fsrph
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COBRA grace period

Post by fsrph »

I'm trying to understand the COBRA grace period. I know to have the paperwork ready with a trusted party in case of an emergency. Will the following example work? Thanks

Loss of insurance - end of July.
COBRA notice received - I know it will be later but say Aug 1st
Do nothing with the notice for now.
Sign up on ACA and also select COBRA about Aug 22nd (within the 60 days).
Have 45 days to pay for COBRA which is into October. Don't pay for COBRA.
ACA policy should start Oct.1st

Francis
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MP123
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Re: COBRA grace period

Post by MP123 »

If you know that you'll be loosing employer coverage at the end of July and can document that, then you should be able to enroll in an ACA plan prospectively with a Special Enrollment Period within 60 days prior. Then you wouldn't have to worry about it or have COBRA on stand-by.

I'm not sure that saving two months of premiums is worth the risk of the COBRA grace period shuffle above, but I think your dates/timing is correct at least.
PaunchyPirate
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Re: COBRA grace period

Post by PaunchyPirate »

OP, what is your overriding goal here?

If your employer insurance ends July 31, you can set up your ACA coverage to start on August 1st. You can arrange this up to 60 days prior to actually losing your employer insurance, if you know it's going to happen.

As mentioned above, I certainly wouldn't suggest you juggle COBRA unless you have a coverage gap that you are trying to protect -- i.e. you lose insurance on July 15th, but can't get ACA until August 1st.

If you're goal is to not pay insurance premiums for 2 months, then I guess what you outline will likely work. I'm not sure what "...and also select COBRA about August 22nd..." means. Where are you "selecting" COBRA?
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fsrph
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Re: COBRA grace period

Post by fsrph »

PaunchyPirate wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:39 am OP, what is your overriding goal here?

If your employer insurance ends July 31, you can set up your ACA coverage to start on August 1st. You can arrange this up to 60 days prior to actually losing your employer insurance, if you know it's going to happen.

As mentioned above, I certainly wouldn't suggest you juggle COBRA unless you have a coverage gap that you are trying to protect -- i.e. you lose insurance on July 15th, but can't get ACA until August 1st.

If you're goal is to not pay insurance premiums for 2 months, then I guess what you outline will likely work. I'm not sure what "...and also select COBRA about August 22nd..." means. Where are you "selecting" COBRA?
The goal is to save 2 months of premiums legally. You have to sign up for COBRA by August 22nd to start the 45 days to pay the bill.

If you have no health event requiring insurance you save 2 months premium's. If you have a health event you pay for 2 months of COBRA and are retroactively covered.

Francis
"Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get." | Dale Carnegie
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fsrph
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Re: COBRA grace period

Post by fsrph »

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123
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Re: COBRA grace period

Post by 123 »

fsrph wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:15 am ... I know to have the paperwork ready with a trusted party in case of an emergency...
Hopefully the trusted party is better at avoiding accidents and unexpected medical conditions than you may be.
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Re: COBRA grace period

Post by Dottie57 »

MP123 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:22 am If you know that you'll be loosing employer coverage at the end of July and can document that, then you should be able to enroll in an ACA plan prospectively with a Special Enrollment Period within 60 days prior. Then you wouldn't have to worry about it or have COBRA on stand-by.

I'm not sure that saving two months of premiums is worth the risk of the COBRA grace period shuffle above, but I think your dates/timing is correct at least.
This.

If you need medical ins, any medical provider would require at the least partial or maybe full payment up front with no insurance pricing. Once you do pay cobra coverage it will be hard to get your money back from the medical provider. I had a devil of a time. So get cobra or ACA .


Don’t go without ins.
deikel
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Re: COBRA grace period

Post by deikel »

I don't think that is how it works

You have a delay in the COBRA application and premium payment, but you pay for the entire time frame from day one job loss (just late) and not for the time you needed COBRA in hindsight.

COBRA is a continuation of your existing insurance, just that you pay the premiums in full. Its not a new insurance or an as needed insurance.

You can delay COBRA application and payment up to 90 days and if you did not need the insurance in that time frame you will not have paid for it and your insurance ended on day of job loss - but if you needed the insurance in that time frame (made a claim against it), you pay for the full time. And you will have incurred an interruption in insurance - maybe not so important anymore now that pre existing conditions are covered by ACA compliant plans.

As others mentioned, your termination is grounds for special enrolment, so this may be moot anyway.
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MP123
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Re: COBRA grace period

Post by MP123 »

My (limited) experience with specialist doctors is that the first thing their receptionist will ask is "what insurance do you have?", and then they call the insurer to check co-pays, deductibles, and so on.

Having to explain that you don't have coverage but hope to restore it retroactively in time for urgent surgery might be hard for you to do, even harder for someone else to do on your behalf while you were incapacitated. So, even though you might theoretically be able to get retroactive coverage you may have problems getting services in the meantime.
Longdog
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Re: COBRA grace period

Post by Longdog »

123 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:20 pm
fsrph wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:15 am
... I know to have the paperwork ready with a trusted party in case of an emergency...
Hopefully the trusted party is better at avoiding accidents and unexpected medical conditions than you may be.
As long as their risks are uncorrelated, they should be okay. It’s only an issue if they both suffer an accident at the same time. I’d recommend they avoid each other during the 2 month transition period, to reduce the joint probability that both require medical attention simultaneously! :D
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sls239
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Re: COBRA grace period

Post by sls239 »

But if you do need care, then you would be locked into the COBRA premiums and perhaps more importantly the deductible and OOP max. Which would then reset a mere two months later when it switches to the ACA plan.

Or is there something I’m missing?

Have you already met the deductible/ OOP max for this plan year?
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fsrph
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Re: COBRA grace period

Post by fsrph »

sls239 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:02 pm But if you do need care, then you would be locked into the COBRA premiums and perhaps more importantly the deductible and OOP max. Which would then reset a mere two months later when it switches to the ACA plan.

Or is there something I’m missing?

Have you already met the deductible/ OOP max for this plan year?

Haven't met deductible or oop max for this year. If you need to use COBRA you could reset to ACA plan during open enrollment.
"Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get." | Dale Carnegie
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