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New Jersey COBRA Insurance
Facing a situation where you or a family member are experiencing job loss and as a result health insurance loss can be scary. Not only are you dealing with worrying about your finances, but also on top of that you are dealing with making hard decisions about health insurance. While many people immediately think about COBRA insurance, there are also additional insurance plans you should consider. In addition, in the state of New Jersey there are two COBRA options - federal and New Jersey COBRA insurance. Each one has its own specific requirements depending on the size of the company you worked for. This article will help you understand what options you have, how much they normally cost, and will help you make a decision about what plan is best for you.
Federal COBRA and New Jersey COBRA Insurance
The NJ COBRA insurance plan and federal COBRA plans provide identical benefits to covered employees and their family members. Under COBRA, which is a law not an insurance plan, you have the option to elect to continue to use the health insurance plan you had if you meet certain terms set forth in the law. The plan stays exactly the same as it was when you were employed with two key differences - cost and term length.
First, let's talk about cost:
NJ COBRA insurance and federal COBRA will cost 102% of the whole premium monthly. For you as a covered employee or family member this means that you must now pay both what you contributed to health insurance and what your employer paid for health insurance plus a 2% fee. Let's say you paid $300 monthly for insurance and your employer paid $700 monthly (which is average), you would now have to pay the entire $1000 yourself plus 2% or $20 extra. Total that works out to $1020 for COBRA coverage.
Next, let's talk about coverage length:
COBRA plans are meant to be temporary solutions that give you time to find new health insurance without experiencing a lapse in coverage. For that reason that have set time limits. At both the state and national level, you can only use COBRA for 18 months.
Finally, let's talk about qualifying:
Under the current state and federal laws, you must meet three qualifications to use COBRA insurance. They are called qualifying plan, qualifying event, and qualifying beneficiary. There are differences between the state and federal level for qualifying plan but the other two are identical. For NJ COBRA insurance a qualifying plan is any health insurance plan that is still active, that you were a part of for 3 months or more, and covered between 2-19 employees. At the federal level it is any plan that covered 20 or more employees and is still active. For qualifying event you could have quit your job, lost your job, or retired from your job without any serious misconduct. Finally, a qualifying beneficiary is the covered employee, their spouse, or their dependents.
Private Health Insurance Options
In addition to the federal and New Jersey COBRA insurance plans, everyone should also consider private health insurance. Most people who are generally healthy without any major preexisting conditions can save over 60% monthly with a private insurance plan. Learn more about what plans are out there for you by filling out the free quote form below. It will provide you with all the major medical plans available in your area and will show costs and coverage.
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New Jersey Frequently Asked Questions
My boss just told me I can sign up for New Jersey COBRA, is it s a good insurance plan?
Well, it depends on your plan. New jersey COBRA is actually a law, not a plan that will let you keep the health insurance plan you had before you lost your job. So if you decide to enroll in COBRA in NJ then you keep the exact same plan you had.
Who is eligible for New Jersey Mini COBRA?
To be eligible for New Jersey Mini COBRA you must meet three conditions – qualifying event, plan, and beneficiary. The main requirements are the exact same under the federal and New state COBRA laws, with the key difference being NJ COBRA is for people who work at companies with between 2-19 employees instead of the 20+ required by the federal government. Read more about the specific terms of each requirement for COBRA.
I am relatively healthy, is NJ COBRA insurance the best option for me?
It depends on your budget and what you want out of a health plan. Staying on COBRA in New Jersey will mean that you keep the exact same plan you had, which is convenient. However since you are generally healthy, you could probably save a lot of money by switching to a private plan and still get very good coverage. For someone in good healthy, they can save over $300 monthly by using a private plan. Learn more about saving money with a private plan.
Can I use COBRA insurance in New Jersey if I quit my job?
Most likely you will be able to use COBRA if you meet the provision set forth in the law. These provisions determine who is eligible which is based on the plan you had, the reason you lost insurance, and beneficiaries. In your case, quitting is a qualifying event so most likely you would be able to enroll.
I only had my job for 3 weeks can I still sign up for COBRA in New Jersey?
Unfortunately under the New Jersey COBRA law you must have health insurance with the company for at least 3 months to be eligible for COBRA coverage. Since you only worked there for 3 weeks, you will not have been enrolled in the health plan long enough.