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Pennsylvania COBRA Insurance
In Pennsylvania there is an additional insurance continuation option, known as Pennsylvania Mini COBRA. This plan was established specifically for residents who don't qualify for the national COBRA law because their company is too small. The state wanted to offer more people COBRA benefits so they created this extension program, following in the footsteps of the national government and many other states.
Pennsylvania Mini COBRA insurance is actually a law, not a policy, that lets people keep the plan they had at their place of work after they lose their job. The plan they maintain is the same and is a limited time continuation meant to give them time to find another long term medical insurance option.
Pennsylvania Mini COBRA Insurance Criteria
As with any law, there are certain stipulations that were established with the law that determine who is eligible. These terms come in three categories - plan, beneficiary, and event - and additionally if you can enroll in federal COBRA, PA COBRA is not an option.
- Plan: The plan that the employee had must have had a minimum of two employees and a maximum of nineteen employees. It also must still be operating.
- Beneficiary: The only people who can use the plan are the employee, their spouse, and their children/dependents.
- Event: The reason that health insurance was lost can be due to involuntary job loss (being laid off without wrongdoing) or voluntary job loss (retiring or quitting). For family members death, divorce, and loss of dependency can also be a qualifying event.
The Cost of COBRA in Pennsylvania
In most circumstances COBRA benefits will cost 102% of the monthly cost of insurance with your employer plan. You must pay both the amount you paid and anything your employer paid to keep your coverage.
Length of Coverage
COBRA continuation coverage only lasts for 9 months in the state. It truly is meant to be a temporary plan that gives a family or individual time to look for something else. Since the plan is temporary, it is common to sign up for private insurance from the start.
Enrolling in PA Mini COBRA Insurance
When you lose your health insurance and if you are eligible for COBRA, your employer is required to provide you with an election form. With that said, you should always ask for one as well. You have 30 days from the date of the last day of coverage to sign up for PA COBRA. You also must pay the premium in full with the enrollment.
Additional Insurance Options
Living in Pennsylvania, COBRA isn't your only option and it definitely isn't the cheapest option. Signing up for a plan through a insurance company can usually provide similar standard of coverage and cost much less. People use save over $600 monthly with their own health insurance plan. You can learn more about the plans in your area, what they cover, and how much they cost by getting a free quote below. This quote provides a no obligation list of health plans you qualify for as well as costs and coverage information including deductibles, copayments, doctor networks, and more.
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Pennsylvania Frequently Asked Questions
What does Pennsylvania Mini COBRA insurance cover and how can I use it?
This plan covers the exact same thing that the plan that the covered employee had. This is because it is simply a continuation of that policy. The covered employee and their beneficiaries can use it if they meet the requirements explained above – qualifying event, qualifying beneficiary, and qualifying plan.
Why is it called a Mini COBRA plan in Pennsylvania?
It is called Mini COBRA because it is a smaller version of the federal COBRA law that was passed in Pennsylvania to make sure that more people can continue their coverage. The Mini COBRA law lets people continue their plan if they worked somewhere with less than twenty employees or their part time equivalent.
How many employees is the maximum covered under the PA COBRA plan?
The maximum number of employees covered by the PA COBRA law is 19 employees or their part time equivalents. For people for worked at larger companies they can usually qualify under the national COBRA policy.
What is considered gross misconduct and will it make me ineligible for Pennsylvania COBRA?
Gross misconduct is loosely defined by the law as any serious wrongdoing that was purposeful in nature. In Pennsylvania this will disqualify you and your family members from using COBRA coverage. Some examples of gross misconduct include theft, sexual harassment, and violence in the workplace.
I just found out my former employer is switching insurance plans. What will happen to my COBRA in PA?
If you are signed up for COBRA then you will get a notice from the employer informing you of the change to the plan. Then you will have the option to continue on COBRA with the new plan or opt to find a new health insurance plan. Anytime this is a change to the plan, your options are identical to when you were employed since it is continuation insurance.