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Missouri COBRA Insurance
For many people understanding health care options after job loss feels like a puzzle and unending questions - What is COBRA health insurance? What about Missouri COBRA insurance? Are there private options I should look at? How much will it cost? How long does it last? The questions likely seem endless and facing these decisions can definitely be stressful for many people.
Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that difficult. Once you understand the main options you should consider and the difference between each one, you can begin to make decisions about your health care future. Taking time to explore each option, understand the pros and cons, and then using that information to find the right fit for yourself or your family will give you the peace of mind you need in this difficult situation.
Option 1: Federal or Missouri COBRA Insurance
The first thing most people think of when they lose their job (or even quit or retire from their job) is COBRA insurance. In Missouri there are two COBRA programs - one offered through the federal government for people who worked at companies with at least 20 full time employees on the health insurance plan and one through the Missouri state government for people who worked at companies with between 2-19 employees on the insurance plan.
Each of these plans allows someone to continue to keep the exact same health insurance they had while employed. The catch? You must pay the entire premium plus a 2% administration fee and the continuation coverage is only temporary. For federal COBRA it lasts 18 months and for Missouri COBRA insurance it lasts 12 months. Those are the two major downsides to COBRA insurance since many people find they can no longer afford the monthly premiums without their employer subsidizing any of the cost. And it is only a temporary solution. At some point or another you will need a new health insurance plan.
Option 2: Private Health Insurance
After determining you COBRA options, the next insurance to consider is private medical insurance. There are all types of plans on the market ranging from full coverage plans that mirror the plans most folks have while working to short term and catastrophic plans that cover only emergencies. Depending on your health needs, you can decide what type of plan is best suited to you and your family.
In addition, private health insurance plans normally offer a substantial savings for people who are reasonable healthy. In fact most people save over $300 monthly by switching to a private plan and can get the same exact coverage. The reason that private plans are affordable is that the plan only covers you (and your family) while an employer plan covers many people both healthy and unhealthy. The plan is more expensive overall because it covers everyone and people with high risks and expensive medical needs drive up the price. To learn more about private plans, get a free quote below.
Option 3: Reduced Cost Government/Community Insurance
Lastly, some people with low income may qualify for free or lower cost government and community insurance programs. These often are available for children and in some instances the entire family. Calling your local governmental human services department is usually the best way to learn more about these programs and if you are eligible.
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Missouri Frequently Asked Questions
How does the state run Missouri Mini COBRA plan work?
The state COBRA program in Missouri works just the federal plan by allowing people to keep using their employer sponsored health plan after they lose their jobs. The state government created the plan to open up this benefit to more people. They did this by making people eligible for Missouri COBRA if they worked at companies with between two employees and nineteen employees.
How long am I able to enroll in Missouri COBRA?
The Missouri law for COBRA health insurance will permit you and any family members to use your COBRA for up to one year, or 12 months. This is different from the national law that permits people to use the plan for up to 18 months. When the year of COBRA ends you will need to look for your own health insurance plan.
Can you estimate what my monthly Missouri COBRA insurance premium will be?
There is no way to estimate your monthly COBRA expenses in Missouri without knowing what your premiums are. However on average an individual spends between $400–$500 monthly for COBRA and a family spends between $1000–$1200 monthly. Find out how to calculate the cost of COBRA.
I am getting divorced and my husband works at a large company, can I use COBRA?
Most likely you will be able to use federal COBRA and will not need the Missouri plan, which is simply an extension of the federal plan for people who work at smaller companies. After divorce, which is a qualifying event under the law, you can normally use COBRA for 36 months and you will maintain the exact same health plan you had while you were married.
I am losing my government job, will Missouri COBRA be an option for me?
Unfortunately in most cases when you work for the state or federal government, COBRA in Missouri isn't an option for you. However most government jobs have their own COBRA like programs that will allow people to keep their health insurance plans. Asking your Human Resources Department or current plan administrator is the best way to learn what options you have.