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New York COBRA Insurance
Understanding COBRA insurance is difficult for anyone, including experts, and this can be even harder when you live in a state like New York who offers both the federal COBRA coverage and their own NY COBRA insurance. However it doesn't have to be difficult and once you understand the basics, you can determine which COBRA plan you qualify for and also what other insurance options are on the market.
The first thing to understand is what COBRA insurance is, whether it is at the national or state level. COBRA health insurance actually isn't an insurance policy at all, but is actually a law that was passed in 1986. Under this law, people have the option to continue to use the exact same health insurance plan they had when they were employed. That way the don't experience a lapse in coverage or suddenly go without insurance when they lose, quit, or even retire from their jobs.
New York COBRA Insurance Versus Federal COBRA Insurance
The New York and federal plans work exactly the same in terms of coverage. If you enroll you are able to keep the health insurance plan you had for you and your family for up to 18 months given you meet certain conditions. The first two conditions - qualifying event and qualifying beneficiary - are the same at both the state and national level. To have a qualifying event that allows you to enroll in COBRA you (or the employee) must have been laid off, lost, quit, or retired from your job without any wrongdoing. If you are a spouse or child there are also additional qualifying events including death and divorce. Secondly, you must be a qualifying beneficiary, which is the employee themselves, a spouse, or a dependent.
The next qualification for COBRA, qualifying plan, differs in New York versus the federal level. At the federal level a qualifying plan is any health insurance plan that remains active and covers 20+ employees. At the state level, the qualifying plan covers 2-19 employees. You can only qualify for one plan, not both.
Cost of COBRA Insurance
New York COBRA insurance and federal COBRA cost the same amount - 102% of the premium. The premium will be both what the employee paid for coverage and what the employer paid for coverage. Since employers normally pay between 60%-90% of insurance costs, anyone considering COBRA will see a very significant price increase. You can find the exact cost of COBRA on your election form.
Private Health Insurance Options
Is COBRA insurance too expensive? There are other options that normally are much more affordable. Many people find that they can save money by choosing a private individual or family plan. These plans are provided by private companies and offer a wide range of coverage options and price points. For full coverage insurance, healthy people usually save around 65% on their premiums. To learn more about what plans you may be eligible for, how much they cost, what they cover, and compare them to COBRA; you can get a free quote below. There is no obligation to sign up, it simply is the fastest way to get multiple plan options at once.
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New York Frequently Asked Questions
Will my vision and dental plans be honored under New York Mini COBRA insurance?
It depends on what type of health insurance plan you had when you were working. Normally under the NY COBRA law, your vision and dental insurance will be covered under COBRA if they were part of a comprehensive plan. However if the plans were independent, opt-in plans they usually are not covered as a part of COBRA. Read more about COBRA vision and dental coverage with COBRA.
Can I apply for a subsidy to cut the cost of NY COBRA?
There is no longer any type of COBRA subsidy available in New York or from the federal government. The subsidy was passed as part of a larger piece of legislation created to address the growing unemployment problem. Under the COBRA subsidy people were able to get 65% off their COBRA premiums.
What is New York Health Insurance Continuation?
This is just another name for New York COBRA and will allow individuals and qualified beneficiaries to continue to use their health insurance after a qualifying event like job loss, retirement, or divorce.
How long do I have to decide if I want to enroll in New York COBRA coverage?
Normally you have 60 days to determine whether or not NY COBRA is the right choice for you and your family members. The sixty days starts from the date on the election notice and if you decide to enroll, the coverage will also start from this date, as it is retroactive. If you do not sign up within this timeframe then you will not be eligible for coverage.
Can I sign just one family member up for NY COBRA?
Yes and that is actually a great way to save money. Many people find that the most affordable insurance path for them is to sign up the family member with the greatest health needs for COBRA in NY and then sign everyone else in the family up for a private family plan.