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West Virginia COBRA Insurance
No matter what your situation, job loss is hard and so is finding health insurance to ensure you and your family remain protected in case of medical needs and emergencies. In addition, on top of the stress of dealing with budgetary implications of losing income, figuring out what health care option is best for you is tricky.
There are lots of options including federal COBRA, West Virginia COBRA insurance, private plans, and government plans and making sense of each one can be difficult. Luckily, we are here to help and can assist you in understanding what options you have for health care.
Option 1: Federal COBRA Coverage
Normally the first place people who involuntarily or even voluntarily lost their jobs look for health insurance is COBRA. COBRA is a law that was passed by the federal government in 1986 to allow people to continue to use their employer health insurance plan after job loss. Given you meet the three requirements set out in the law - qualifying plan, qualifying event, and qualifying beneficiary - you can keep your coverage for up to 18 months if you pay the full premium monthly. The full premium includes both what you paid and what your employer paid. In addition there is a 2% administration fee.
Option 2: West Virginia COBRA Insurance
If you determine that you do not qualify for federal COBRA, you may be able to use West Virginia COBRA health insurance. Only people who do not qualify for the federal plan can use this plan. Primarily this plan extends COBRA coverage (meaning you can keep the same plan) to people who do not meet the qualifying plan requirement because their company only employs 2-19 people. The cost of WV COBRA is also high and costs 102% of the premium and coverage lasts 18 months.
Option 3: Private Insurance - Full Coverage, Catastrophic, and PCIP Plans
The third option, and the one that most people choose, is a private insurance plan. People opt for these plans most frequently because they are much more affordable. There are many types of private plans for full coverage HMOs and PPOs to emergency insurance plans to preexisting condition insurance plans. The most popular are full coverage individual or family plans. These are the most popular because they offer similar coverage to employer plans but usually save people around 65%. These plans include all the normal offerings including doctor visits, ongoing care, prescription coverage, and more. You can learn about all types of insurance plans by getting a quote below. This quote provides a long list of options in your area and based on your health needs and situation.
Option 4: Low Income Government Insurance
The last option people usually consider are low income government plans. These plans offer free or reduced cost insurance to people living near or under the federal poverty line. Some plans are available for the entire family while other plans are only available for children. You can learn more about these plans by talking to the West Virginia Health and Human Services department.
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West Virginia Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I sign up for the COBRA subsidy in West Virginia?
There no longer are any COBRA subsidies offered by WV or the federal government. The last COBRA subsidy ended in 2010 and there has not been a price reduction since. With that said, there are ways to save money on COBRA by looking at private plans, government options, or by being creative about whom in your family uses COBRA and who doesn't. Learn more about how to save money on COBRA.
Can I use WV COBRA insurance after my federal COBRA runs out?
In West Virginia COBRA coverage cannot be used after federal coverage runs out as a way to extend the plan. The plan is only for people who never qualified under the federal laws. At the end of the COBRA term, you will need to explore other insurance options.
My company only has 2 employees; can I use WV COBRA coverage?
That is exactly what West Virginia COBRA is for. As log as you meet the other requirements described above and your company's health plan is still active, then you will be eligible for this COBRA coverage.
Where can I find a doctor with my new COBRA plan in West Virginia?
With COBRA in West Virginia you can use the same doctor you did while you or the covered employee was working since the plan is simply a continuation insurance plan. You keep using the same plan so your doctor does not change.
I just moved to West Virginia after losing my job in Florida, can I sign up for COBRA coverage here?
Most likely you will not be able to. West Virginia COBRA is for people who lost their jobs while they were residents of West Virginia, not who come to WV after job loss. Depending on your plan, you may be able to sign up for Florida or federal COBRA.