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Montana COBRA Insurance
Losing a job and health insurance at the same time is very difficult for anyone, and for that reason the government passed the COBRA insurance laws as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act in 1986 to protect people from this exact situation. Under the law, people who meet creating requirements can keep the health insurance plan they had when they were working for up to 18 months. This way no one is forced to go without health insurance. In Montana COBRA insurance through the federal government is one option for having health insurance after job loss. In addition, it is recommend that people explore private plans to make sure they find the best plan at the best price.
The Basics of Montana COBRA Insurance
Although some states offer their own COBRA plans in addition to the federal plan, Montana does not have its own program. That means you can only consider the federal COBRA plan. To qualify for the federal COBRA insurance coverage you must meet the following criteria:
- Qualifying Plan: The health insurance plan you were a part of, or the covered employee was a part of, must still be active and must cover at least 20 full time employees.
- Qualifying Event: The reason you lost your health insurance must not involve gross misconduct. It can include being let go, quitting, or retiring. For family members, divorce from the employee, death of the employee, and loss dependent status also qualify as events that allow the option for Montana COBRA coverage.
- Qualifying Beneficiary: You must be a covered employee, spouse, or dependent to be able to enroll in COBRA insurance.
Once you determine if you can sign up for COBRA in Montana, the next step is to understand how much it will cost and how long it lasts. The cost of COBRA is based on your monthly health insurance premium. This includes both what you paid and anything your employer paid. Once you determine that entire amount, add 2% for the administration fee. That is the cost of COBRA - 102%of your entire premium. In terms of coverage length, COBRA lasts 18 months in most situations.
Before signing up for COBRA, make sure to always compare the cost of COBRA to the cost of private health insurance plans. The easiest way to do that is by getting a free quote using the form below. This quote will provide you with a long list of health insurance options at various price points. You can see what coverage they offer and how much it will cost. For healthy individuals and families, normally there is a 65% cost savings when using a private plan instead of COBRA.
If you do decide to sign up for Montana COBRA insurance, you will need to complete the enrollment form that you received from your place of employment within 60 days. In the form you will indicate who will keep the plan with COBRA. You will also need to send in a premium payment with the enrollment form for COBRA to be active. Once the COBRA enrollment window closes, there is no way to sign up for the coverage. Additionally, most companies end COBRA if any premium payment is missed.
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Montana Frequently Asked Questions
I heard some states have their own COBRA plans, is there Montana COBRA insurance?
The state of Montana actually does not have its own COBRA health insurance plan. Instead, residents in Montana will only have the option to sign up with federal COBRA if they wish to continue their health insurance after losing their job, quitting their job, or retiring from their job. In most situations, people will qualify for COBRA if they work at a company with over 20 employees and they were not fired from their place of work for serious wrongdoing.
I am quitting my job; will I be able to use Montana COBRA until I find a new one?
Most likely you will be able to use the federal COBRA plan (since there isn't a Montana COBRA plan) after you quit your job. Many people are unaware that quitting is actually a qualifying event in the COBRA law. Additionally you will have to meet the other conditions of the law to enroll in COBRA after quitting. Read the other COBRA requirements.
Can children enroll in COBRA insurance when their parent retires?
In most cases, children and even spouses can enroll in COBRA when the person providing their health insurance retires. Additionally that employee can also use COBRA in Montana if they are under 65 and do not qualify for Medicare. To be eligible, the plan of the covered employee who is retiring must meet these guidelines.
My COBRA insurance is about to end, how do I extend it?
Currently under the law there is no way to extend COBRA coverage in Montana beyond the 18 or 36 months you qualified for when you signed up. When COBRA ends you will have to look for another insurance plan through a private company, a new job, a trade or alumni association, or a government plan. Learn more about your options when COBRA ends.
Where can I sign up for the COBRA subsidy?
The COBRA subsidy was ended in 2010 and the government has not passed a new subsidy. Therefore there is no way to sign up for a COBRA insurance subsidy that helps you pay your monthly COBRA bills. However there are some way you can reduce the cost of COBRA.