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Colorado COBRA Insurance
Navigating the Colorado COBRA insurance waters can be difficult after job loss and for many figuring out what options they have and then whether CO COBRA is the right path to choose is hard. There are many intricacies in the law and also lots of other options that are important to explore. Use this information about Colorado COBRA health insurance to help you make an informed decision.
In Colorado there are two COBRA insurance options depending on your situation. The first is COBRA through the federal government and the second is COBRA through the state of Colorado, many times called Colorado Mini COBRA. You are only able to use the Colorado Mini COBRA plan if you do not qualify for federal COBRA.
Colorado Mini COBRA Insurance
Just like federal COBRA plans, the state of Colorado also recognized the danger of letting it residents suddenly go without health insurance if they lost, quit, or retired from their job. Additionally, they realized that many people who worked at companies with under 20 employee didn't qualify for federal COBRA and therefore found themselves in a dangerous situation. To remedy that, the state created it's own COBRA program, known as Colorado Mini COBRA to help residents in this situation.
Qualifying for Colorado Mini COBRA
The requirements for Colorado Mini COBRA are virtually the same as federal COBRA with the exception of the size of the health insurance plan. The main qualifications for getting on a Mini Colorado plan are:
- Are NOT qualified for federal COBRA
- Lost, quit, or retired from your job without gross misconduct
- Were on the health insurance plan while employed
- Are not eligible for Medicaid
In addition any dependents who were on your health insurance plan can continue their coverage with CO Mini COBRA insurance. It also extends coverage to divorce spouses and dependent children losing their dependent status.
Cost of Colorado COBRA Insurance
Much like federal COBRA, Colorado COBRA is expensive. Generally the cost of signing up and keeping Mini COBRA in Colorado will be 102%-110% of the entire premium. You must pay whatever you contributed while you were employed plus whatever your employer contributed. On top of that there is a 2%-10% administration fee. The average family spends over $1000 monthly if they sign up for COBRA with the state of Colorado.
How Long Will Colorado COBRA Coverage Last?
COBRA coverage normally lasts between 18-36 months depending on the qualifying event. For most instances of job loss, retirement, or when someone quits their job COBRA coverage for 18 months will last for 18 months for the former employee and their family members. In cases of divorce, loss of dependent status, death of the covered employee, or when the covered employee qualifies for Medicare, the Mini COBRA coverage in Colorado can usually be extended to 36 months.
Alternative Health Insurance Options to Colorado Mini COBRA
There are three main alternatives that people consider to find a lower cost health insurance option when COBRA is too expensive. The first is finding a private health insurance plan that offers similar coverage at a lower cost. Many people find they save as much as 65% when they do this. You can find out your options by getting a free quote below. The second option people consider are governmental programs that offer medical insurance to people below a certain income level. The final COBRA alternative that people examine are free and community health programs.
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Colorado Frequently Asked Questions
How does the Colorado Mini COBRA insurance program work?
Colorado Mini COBRA is just like the federal plan except extends coverage to people who work at smaller companies with less than 20 employees. Under Colorado COBRA you have the option to continue to use your former employer's insurance plan and this benefit extends to your spouse and dependent as well.
I do not qualify for Colorado COBRA, what options do I have to get my children health insurance?
The state of Colorado offers a health insurance plan for children called the Child Health Plan Plus (Colorado Children's Health Insurance Program). It is for children who are uninsured and do not qualify for Medicare. There are specific income limits for enrollment in the program, but many families find that their children qualify. For families who do not qualify, you can explore private insurance plans.
I heard that Colorado Mini COBRA insurance is only a short-term solution, is that true?
Yes and no. Colorado Mini COBRA can be used for up to 18 months in most circumstances. Depending on your situation, you may consider this a very temporary solution or a lengthy coverage period. However most people try to use Colorado COBRA for a short time, if possible, due to the high cost.
When did Colorado create it's own Colorado COBRA plan?
Colorado created it's Mini COBRA program in 1998, following in the footsteps of many other states that had begun to create their own program to extend benefits to people working at smaller companies.
I have been on Colorado Mini COBRA but just learned my company is closing, will my benefits stay intact?
Regrettably they will not. Since Colorado COBRA is an extension of the company group health insurance plan, when that plan no longer exists, the benefits of COBRA also are ended. In order to COBRA to work, the plan must stay active. It is advisable to check with your company to see how much longer coverage will last and begin looking at COBRA alternatives.