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South Dakota COBRA Insurance
Do you work at a small company and therefore found out you can't use federal COBRA coverage? Fortunately you live in a state where they offer extended benefits for people at small companies through South Dakota COBRA insurance, sometimes called South Dakota Mini COBRA.
Following in the path of many other states, South Dakota decided it wanted to guarantee that small business employees did not miss out on the option to enroll in COBRA. Knowing that COBRA insurance is an important option for many, especially those with preexisting health condition and serious health needs, SD joined the list of states with their own COBRA programs specifically designed for small business employees who don't qualify for federal COBRA.
South Dakota COBRA Insurance: The Basics
The South Dakota COBRA law follows the same terms as the federal law for qualifying for COBRA insurance with one major exception in the qualifying plan area. Whereas in the federal law companies must have twenty plus employees on the medical plan, with SD COBRA plans qualify with only 2 employees and as many as 19 employees.
If you meet that requirement as well as the qualifying beneficiary and event laws set forth in the federal law, you can keep the exact same employer health plan. Nothing will change about the plan. You will have the same network of hospitals and doctors; same associated costs for visits and prescriptions; and same plan restrictions. It is the exact same plan since COBRA is a law that lets you continue your plan, not a whole new plan.
Cost and Coverage Time Period
The major downsides of South Dakota COBRA are the cost and the short time period you can use it. The plan is expensive since you must pay the full cost including anything your employer previously paid. In addition, each month there is a 2% maintenance fee. In terms of length, SD COBRA will last 18 months in common situations. This may seem like a long time, but for many people the end comes quickly, which is why it is wise to choose a longer term, less expensive option from the beginning. Many people actually save money with private plans, contrary to poplar belief.
Considering More Affordable Health Plans
When you are looking for a more cost effective plan, you can actually find many options. Even though you hear about high healthcare costs everyday, private plans are actually much more affordable than South Dakota COBRA insurance for most individuals and families. When looking at private plans you can consider full coverage plans known as individual/family plans; or if you want a very low cost you can look at a high deductible health insurance plan or an emergency plan. To get started on your search, get a quote below. This quote will provide you with a free, unbiased list of plans in your area and will include all the costs and plan details.
If you are feeling extreme financial pressure, you may find out you are eligible for a governmental plan. To learn about governmental plans for individuals and families at or near the federal poverty line you can contact the local Health and Human Services Department.
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South Dakota Frequently Asked Questions
Can you explain why South Dakota COBRA is so expensive?
While it is difficult to explain all the reason that COBRA is expensive, the two main reasons have to due with the fact that it is a continuation of a group plan provided through an employer. First when an employer provides an insurance plan, they almost always pay some of the cost. On COBRA you must pay the full plan cost, which is one reason COBRA feels so much more expensive. The second reason is because a group medical plan covers people with varying medical needs and the people on the plan with serious medical needs drive up the costs. Learn more about why COBRA costs so much.
Given I just lost my job and income I am looking for a free health insurance plan instead of SD COBRA; are there any?
Depending on your income level there may be a free, or at least low cost, health insurance plan available known as Medicaid. Medicaid is a state run program that helps people who are struggling to find health insurance and medical care.
What state agency is responsible for overseeing South Dakota Mini COBRA?
The Department of Labor and Regulation oversee COBRA insurance in South Dakota and can assist you anytime you have trouble with COBRA or believe you haven't received the benefits you are entitled to. They can assist with both state and federal claims.
How do I enroll if I want South Dakota COBRA health coverage?
Enrolling in South Dakota COBRA is as easy as completing the enrollment form from your employer and mailing it in with the premium payment. If you have not received an enrollment form then you should reach out to your former employer immediately. For qualifying events like divorce and death, it is your responsibility to inform the company of the change.
What is the main benefit of using COBRA insurance in South Dakota?
The main benefit of using SD COBRA coverage is that you do not experience any changes in your plan. Under the law you are continuing the plan you had, which makes it very easy because you do not have to learn a new plan, look for new doctors, or change anything about the way you use your medical insurance.