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Georgia COBRA Insurance
Finding yourself without health insurance after you lose, quit, or retire from your job can be a scary time for anyone whether you are completely healthy or have major medical needs. One option for people in this situation is COBRA insurance offered through the federal government. COBRA insurance allows people (and their families) who worked at a company with at least 20 people on their health insurance plan, who didn't lose their job due to wrongdoing to keep their employer sponsored health plan for up to 18 months if they pay the entire premium monthly. The plan stays exactly the same as it was when they were employed and they are provided with an important temporary insurance plan. However what happens if your company doesn't have 20 employees? Luckily the state of Georgia offers its on Georgia Mini COBRA insurance program for people in this exact situation.
Georgia Mini COBRA Insurance
The plan offered by the state of Georgia works almost exactly the same as the federal plan in terms of coverage. You will be able to keep the health insurance plan you had when you were employed if you meet the conditions set forth in the law - qualifying plan, qualifying event, and qualifying beneficiary. The main difference from the federal plan is that Georgia Mini COBRA extends to people who work at smaller companies and have only 2-19 employees instead of the 20 required by the federal plan.
Cost of Georgia Mini COBRA Insurance
The cost of COBRA insurance in Georgia is the same as the federal plan and will cost 102% of the full premium. For most people this will be around $400 monthly and for most families over $1000 monthly. For example, if your employer paid 80% of your health insurance costs and you paid 20%, you will now need to pay 100% of the cost. If you paid $200 monthly and your employer paid $800, you have a monthly premium of $1000 which under COBRA you must pay all of, plus a 2% admin fee of an additional $20 monthly.
Term Length of Georgia COBRA
The main drawback to Georgia Mini COBRA other than the high cost, is the very short term length. COBRA in the state of Georgia only lasts for 3 months and is a very temporary solution. Due to that fact, most people should immediately look at other health insurance plans, likely through a private company if they do not get another job that has insurance quickly.
Alternatives to Georgia COBRA Health
Fortunately, there are alternative options to Georgia COBRA and federal COBRA that can be much more affordable. The first of these options that offers the coverage closest to what people had when they were employed is a private individual or family plan. These plans are offered through many companies and come at many different price ranges. You can get a free quote below to find out what plans you would qualify for. Most families save around $600 monthly when they choose a private plan. If you are only looking for minimal coverage you could also consider a high deductible or catastrophic health insurance plan that covers only medical emergencies. Finally, if you fall under a certain income limit you may qualify for free or low cost insurance from the government.
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Georgia Frequently Asked Questions
Does Georgia have a Mini COBRA insurance plan for people who work at smaller companies?
Yes, the state of Georgia created its program for exactly that reason and under the plan people who work at companies with between 2-19 employees can use the state COBRA plan. Generally people qualify if they quit, retired from, or lost their jobs and can also qualify if they have their hours reduced. Spouses and dependents also qualify for Georgia Mini COBRA.
How many months am I able to use Georgia COBRA insurance?
The law only allows people to use Georgia COBRA for 3 months. Since this period is much shorter than the federal plan, most people opt to look at private plans and alternate insurance right away. Not only can these plans save you money, they also mean that you do not have to find another new plan three months down the road.
My husband just qualified for Medicare so he is losing his employer plan; can my kids and I use Georgia COBRA?
It depends on what type of company your husband works for. If he works for a company with over 20 employees, you can sign up for federal COBRA, which will last 36 months. If he works for a company with under 20 employees, then you can sign up for Georgia Mini COBRA, which will last or just 3 months. In either case, when a covered spouse qualifies for Medicare the spouse and/or children are eligible for COBRA.
I have heard that COBRA in Georgia is expensive, what will the price be?
The cost of COBRA in Georgia is going to be whatever the premium is for the group health plan plus an additional two percent to cover administration of the plan. Since this no longer includes any employer contribution, the price is normally very high. For example, the average family easily spends over $1200 monthly on a Georgia COBRA plan.
Are there any free insurance programs for kids in Georgia if I can't afford COBRA?
The most common kids insurance programs in Georgia are Medicaid and Peachcare for Kids. Both of these programs offer both free and reduced cost care for eligible children. The programs have income restrictions that determine if you qualify and the cost of the program. In addition children who qualify for these programs can also get free or reduced dental care in Georgia.