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Mississippi COBRA Insurance
Facing job loss and health insurance loss is scary for most people and making important decisions about COBRA insurance vs. private health insurance adds to the stress. If you live in Mississippi you have two options for COBRA insurance depending on your situation. The first, and most common, is federal COBRA, which allows you to continue to use the health insurance plan you had while you were employed. The second option, only available if you do not qualify for federal COBRA is Mississippi COBRA insurance. In addition to determining which, if any, COBRA options you have, you should also consider private heath insurance plans, which usually save people over 65% monthly when compared to COBRA.
Federal and Mississippi COBRA Insurance
The most common first option that people consider is COBRA insurance either through the state or the federal law. The laws are almost identical in terms of how they work and how much they cost. Both plans will allow someone to continue to maintain the health insurance plan they had while working (for themselves and family members) as long as they pay the full cost of the plan and meet certain conditions.
To qualify for the federal plan and state plan you must have a qualifying event. A qualifying event can be losing, quitting, or retiring from your job as long as there isn't gross wrongdoing. Secondly, at both the Mississippi COBRA level and federal level you must be a qualified beneficiary - meaning a covered employee, spouse, or dependent. Finally, you must have a qualifying plan. Under both laws the plans must still be active and you must have been a part of them while employed. However, the federal law covers people at companies with at least 20 full time employees while the state law covers people with between 2-19 employees.
The second difference between Mississippi COBRA and federal COBRA is how long the coverage can last for. The federal plan can be used for up to 18 months while the Mississippi Mini COBRA plan only lasts for 12 months.
Private Health Plans
In addition to COBRA plans, people should also consider finding a private health insurance plan. These plans are offered through large medical insurance companies and vary in coverage and price. It is very easy to find a plan with a private company that covers pretty much everything you had while employed. What's more, these plans are usually much more affordable if you are reasonably healthy. Additionally, you can find options for very inexpensive plans that only cover emergencies, known as catastrophic plans, or plans that only last a short time, known as short term insurance. No matter what type of plan you want, getting a free quote below will open your eyes to the many possibilities that exist for health insurance.
Government Health Care Options
Lastly if you are earning or living close to the federal poverty line, you likely can qualify for some type of government health insurance either for yourself or your whole family. The federal and state governments both have programs to provide health insurance to people going through difficult financial times.
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Mississippi Frequently Asked Questions
I just found out that I am not eligible for federal COBRA because only 10 people work at my company; can I use Mississippi COBRA instead?
Yes, in fact that is exactly the situation that Mississippi Mini COBRA was created for. Given that you meet all of the other requirements for federal COBRA (except for the qualifying plan) then you can use the state program and get the exact same benefits. Your insurance coverage will be continued through your employer's plan for up to 12 months.
What are the major differences between the state and federal plan?
The main difference between the Mississippi plan and the federal plan is the length of coverage. Federal coverage lasts between 18-36 months depending on the qualifying event. Mississippi Mini COBRA lasts a maximum of one year from the date you would have lost your health insurance.
My company just changed from a PPO to an HMO, how does that change my Mississippi COBRA coverage?
Since COBRA is a continuation of the medical plan you had, any change to their plan will also change your plan. So in this example, your plan will also switch from a PPO to an HMO and all coverage changes from this will impact you. For example if the HMO limits the doctors you can visit then you will experience the same with your COBRA plan.
Will my premiums get more expensive monthly the longer I use my COBRA in Mississippi?
They likely will not get more expensive monthly, but they will get more expensive if the company ever increases the policy price. At most companies this happens annually around the time of open enrollment. You will be informed of any price changes and be able to decide if you would like to stay enrolled in Mississippi COBRA.
What happens to my coverage if I decide to move out of state?
Under most COBRA plans, your coverage is cancelled if you move out of state because the insurance plans usually limit coverage to only one state. With that said, if you have a rare insurance plan that extends beyond state lines then you will be able to use the plan out of state. It is wise to ask your health insurance company about the impact of moving on your Mississippi COBRA continuation.