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What are Independent Election Rights With COBRA?

Posted on: September 6th, 2012 by Kristen Marie

doctor and patientUnderstanding the language in your COBRA election form can be difficult and most people find themselves looking for a dictionary just to understand what their options are.  One question we frequently hear from people is in regards to Independent Election Rights and what that means.  COBRA insurance independent election rights refer to the ability to choose who signs up for COBRA and who does not independently.  For example, if you have a family of four, you will decide whether or not each person signs up for COBRA independently.  You could decide to sign up one parent and then put everyone else on a private plan.  Essentially each person can make their own election decision.

Why would someone use independent election rights for their COBRA insurance?  The main reason that people use their independent election rights is to save money.  How?  Well when someone has a preexisting condition or major medical needs, they often learn that COBRA insurance is the best option for them so that they can continue the exact same care and because they may be denied from other plans.  However for their family members without the same needs, COBRA is expensive and unnecessary.  Normally they can sign up for a private plan and save up to 65% on the cost.  Or perhaps the children qualify for a governmental plan so the parents only sign up for COBRA.  No matter the situation many people find that when they choose to only sign up those who most need it for COBRA and find alternative plans for everyone else, they save money.

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