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Kansas COBRA Insurance
Did you recently lose your job in Kansas? Are you considering Kansas COBRA insurance to maintain your current health insurance plan? There is a lot to know about COBRA health insurance in Kansas, and additionally it is always wise to look into private plans as well. Having health insurance is extremely important and when you lose, quit, or retire from your job - you are forced to look at all your options and make a decision about what the best health insurance path is for you. But don't worry, we are here to help. We will help you understand the federal COBRA law, as well as Kansas COBRA insurance, private health insurance options, and government insurance programs.
Kansas COBRA Insurance vs. Federal COBRA Programs
In Kansas there are two types of COBRA insurance plans - the first offered through the federal government, and then a second plan offered through the state for people who do not qualify for the federal plan. Both provide almost identical benefits by letting you continue the health plan you had when you were employed, however the state level COBRA only lasts for 9 months instead of the 18 months of the federal plan.
Qualifying for Kansas COBRA Insurance or Federal Coverage
In order to use the benefits of either COBRA program, you (or the covered employee who provides your insurance) must meet certain criteria set out in the law known as qualifying plan, qualifying event, and qualifying beneficiary. If you meet each criteria than you likely are eligible.
- Qualifying Plan: In order to qualify for the federal COBRA benefits, you must have been on a health insurance policy that covered at least 20 employees and is still active. For state level COBRA in Kansas, the policy must have covered between 2-19 employees.
- Qualifying Event: This requirement references why you (or the covered employee) are losing health insurance. For the covered employee as long as there isn't gross misconduct they can quit, retire, or lose their job. For a spouse or dependent, they can be eligible if they are going though a divorce from the covered employee, or in the event of death of the covered employee, or Medicare eligibility of the covered employee. Dependents can also qualify when they lose their dependent status, usually at 26 years old.
- Qualifying Beneficiary: Basically anyone who was on the plan - the employee, the spouse, and any dependents - qualify as beneficiaries and can sign up for COBRA if they choose.
Kansas COBRA Term Length and Cost
The cost of Kansas COBRA health insurance is going to be 102% of the premium - expensive! In order to use COBRA benefits and keep your health plan you will have to pay the entire premium, both what you paid and what your employer paid, plus 2% admin fee. For a family of four, the average cost skyrockets at over $100 monthly.
In terms of length, Kansas COBRA is a temporary health insurance plan, which only lasts for 9 months. At the end of that window you will have to find a new health insurance plan.
Other Options Instead of Kansas COBRA
If you are thinking that COBRA insurance is to expensive or doesn't last long enough - you're right. Although COBRA is a wonderful option for some people with preexisting conditions, major medical needs, or who already have another job lined up, for most of us it is out of reach. There are lots of other options out there though. Most people find that they can save substantial money, up to 65%, by going with a private family or individual plan. You can get a free quote below to compare many programs to your COBRA coverage.
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Kansas Frequently Asked Questions
I just received an election notice for Kansas COBRA insurance from my employer, what is that?
Kansas COBRA is a program that was created by the state government for people living in Kansas who were denied federal COBRA benefits because the plan they were on didn't cover 20 employees. Under this law, employees at smaller companies can also benefit from COBRA and continue to use their former employer's plan.
How many months will I be able to use Kansas COBRA for my insurance coverage?
Your coverage will last up to 18 months and potentially an additional 11 months if there is a second qualifying event. Spouses and beneficiaries can sometimes qualify for 3 years of COBRA coverage when the covered employee is eligible for Medicare or in the event of death of the covered employee or divorce from the covered employee.
Does the Kansas COBRA plan cost more than traditional COBRA coverage?
Kansas COBRA costs the same as federal coverage and is 102% of the cost. This cost is different for everyone because it is based on the monthly cost of the insurance plan you had, as well as how many people are using the plan. Find out more about the cost of COBRA.
What can I do if I can't afford my monthly payments for COBRA in Kansas?
The options you have when you can't afford your Kansas COBRA payments will depend on your income. For people living at or near the poverty limit there are governmental insurance programs that can provide free or reduced cost care. Otherwise you will likely need to look for a less expensive private plan. Many people actually learn they can save up to 65% with a private plan. Learn more about cutting your monthly COBRA expense.
Where can I request my election form for COBRA in Kansas?
The easiest way to request an election form is to simply reach out to your former employer or medical insurer and request a form. If for some reason you believe you are not getting the paperwork you need from your company, the next option is to contact the Kansas Dept. of Labor.