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Vermont COBRA Insurance
Vermont it one of the states that has their own COBRA insurance plan so that more people have the option to enroll and continue the health insurance plan they had. Since the federal plan only covers employees who work at larger companies with at least 20 workers, Vermont decided to create its own COBRA plan that covers workers at smaller companies with as few as two employees.
Under the Vermont COBRA coverage, an employee and their family members can choose to keep the exact same health insurance plan they had after job loss or another qualifying event given they meet the other requirements set forth in the law. When thinking about whether Vermont COBRA is right for you, it is always wise to explore all your options to find the best plan for your health needs and budget.
What Is Vermont COBRA and How Do You Qualify?
Vermont COBRA allows individuals and their family members to keep the health insurance plan they had when they were working after they quit, retire from, or lose their job. It is an extension of the federal plan and only applicable to people who do not qualify for the national plan. To qualify for Vermont COBRA coverage you must have:
- A qualifying plan: The plan must still be in use today and must cover between 2-19 employees. You must have been a part of the plan for 3 months. For family members, the covered employee must meet these plan requirements.
- A qualifying event: The covered employee must have lost coverage due to job loss that in voluntary or involuntary without severe wrongdoing. For family members, they can also qualify due to death, divorce, or Medicare qualification.
- Be a qualifying member/beneficiary: You can use the Vermont plan if you are the employee, the spouse, or a dependent.
How Much Does Vermont COBRA Cost?
In most cases, VT COBRA costs the same amount as the federal plan at 102% of the full premium. The full premium includes both what you paid for insurance while working plus anything that your employer kicked in and paid. Then on top of that there is a 2% fee for processing and administration. Many people find that this cost is out of reach and choose to get alternate plans that are more affordable.
How Long Will VT COBRA Last?
Unlike federal coverage that lasts one and a half years in most situations, Vermont coverage will only last for 6 months from the day your insurance would have stopped. It is a very short plan and truly meant to provide coverage for the interim while you find another job with insurance or find your own plan. Most people prefer to find an alternative plan from the start since this coverage is so short lived.
Alternatives to COBRA in Vermont
Since COBRA insurance in Vermont is both expenisve and short term, most people opt to simply find their own insurance plan from the beginning. These plans are offered by private companies and can be cancelled at any time if you find a new job with coverage. Most plans are priced considerably less than COBRA, usually about 65% less, and can offer almost identical coverage. To learn what plans you qualify for and their prices, get a free quote below.
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Vermont Frequently Asked Questions
My health insurance plan only covers 15 people; can I use Vermont COBRA insurance?
If you meet the qualifying event and beneficiary requirements that are outlined above and the health insurance plan at your last employer is still active, then likely you will qualify for Vermont Mini COBRA. In fact the law was designed for people in your exact situation.
What lower cost options are there for children's health insurance in Vermont other than COBRA?
The state of Vermont has a program called Dr. Dynasaur, which is Vermont's SCHIP Program. It offers free or reduced cost insurance to children under 18 and pregnant mothers. The eligibility for the program is based on the income for the household and also the size of the family.
What will the price of Vermont COBRA be?
The price of Vermont Continuation Insurance is 102% of the monthly premium. The premium is the cost of the insurance plan and you can find that number of the election form. You can also calculate the cost of COBRA to estimate your monthly payment.
Will my COBRA insurance in Vermont cover me if I am traveling?
Most likely it will. COBRA in Vermont is continuation insurance and allows you to maintain the coverage you had. This means that if you could travel and be covered while you were employed, the same would be true on COBRA. If you have any questions about traveling with your health plan you should contact the provider.
I just got married, can I add my husband to my Vermont COBRA coverage?
Your husband will qualify as a beneficiary under the law, however you need to contact your insurance company to find out if you can add him at any time if it isn't open enrollment. Some insurers only people to add a spouse at any time but others limit it to open enrollment.