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Hawaii COBRA Insurance

Hawaii COBRA Insurance

We know just how difficult it can be when you lose your job and also have to face losing your health insurance coverage. It can be a scary time and it can feel like every choice is a complex and complicated one. This isn't made any easier by the often times confusing COBRA insurance laws and regulations. Luckily we are here to help ad can make understanding Hawaii COBRA insurance as well as your options for finding less expensive coverage easy.

Some states have set up their own Mini COBRA programs for residents who do not qualify for the federal plan, unfortunately Hawaii is not one of those states. This means that your only COBRA continuation option in Hawaii will be through the national program.

Hawaii COBRA Insurance

In the state of Hawaii there is only one COBRA insurance option through the federal government because the state does not have it's own program as well. This means that you must meet the federal requirements to sign up for COBRA in Hawaii. COBRA insurance allows you to continue to keep the same health insurance plan you had when you were employed after job loss. It also extends coverage to family members who were on the plan as well. The program was set up to make sure people didn't find themselves without health insurance after losing, quitting, or even retiring from their job.

Hawaii COBRA Eligibility

In order to enroll in COBRA insurance in Hawaii there are three federal eligibility requirements that must be met. Luckily most people find that they do qualify under the law.

  • Qualifying Plan: The health insurance plan the covered employee had while employed must have had 20 employees (or their part time equivalents) and must still be active.
  • Qualifying Event: This refers to how the covered employee lost their job. Quitting, retiring, or losing your job are all eligible as long as there wasn't major wrongdoing. In addition a qualifying event for a beneficiary could be divorce/legal separation from the covered employee, death of the employee, the covered employee qualifying for Medicare, and loss of dependent status can also make someone eligible for COBRA.
  • Qualifying Beneficiary: This is who can sign up for COBRA coverage and includes the covered employee, their spouse, and any dependents.

Cost of COBRA Health Insurance in Hawaii

The cost of COBRA is based on the federal statute and is set at 102% of the full premium. So what does that mean? That means if you sign up for COBRA you will be responsible for paying anything you paid monthly for health insurance and anything your employer paid monthly for health insurance. In addition there is a 2% administration charge. This adds up to over $1000 monthly for most families and over $400 monthly for most individuals.

Finding Less Expensive Health Insurance Options

There are other health insurance options out there if you find COBRA health insurance is to expensive. The most common and most similar to an employer plan is a private or individual plan. These plans range in coverage and price range and are offered through a variety of companies. Each plan will have it's own deductibles, copays, and networks. The easiest way to explore these plans and find out if you can save money is to get a free quote below. When you do that, you will find a long list of available plans in your area based on your family and health needs. The average family saves over $600 monthly by choosing a plan with a private company.

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Hawaii Frequently Asked Questions

Can I sign up for Hawaii COBRA insurance if I don't qualify under the federal plan?

The state of Hawaii, unlike other states like California or Massachusetts, does not offer a COBRA plan outside of the one provided under the federal law. Normally these state plans extend coverage to employees at smaller companies. Therefore people who do not qualify will need to seek out alternate insurance options through a governmental plan like Quest or Medicaid, or find a private insurance plan. Private plans are available at many price points and coverage amounts.

What low cost options are there for children's healthcare if I don't qualify for Hawaii COBRA?

The most widely used provider for low cost children's healthcare is through the state and is known as Quest Hawaii. The Quest program is for both children and adults who have been denied coverage or are struggling to find affordable health insurance. The program has very specific requirements and your income will determine the amount you pay for the medical coverage it provides.

My health insurance was through Cal COBRA, but I just moved to Hawaii; can I switch to Hawaii Mini COBRA?

Sadly your Cal COBRA program is not transferable to another state and will not work when you move to Hawaii or any other state for that matter. Additionally Hawaii does not have its own mini COBRA plan so you will need to find a new source for medical insurance.

My wife and I are legally separated and she provided my health insurance, am I eligible for COBRA in Hawaii?

Given your wife's plan qualifies under the federal COBRA laws (most plans with at least 20 employees qualify) then a legal separation will enable you to sign up for COBRA insurance at the federal level. This coverage will last for up to 36 months and will cost 102% of the premium. Under COBRA your health care benefits will remain exactly the same.

I have a preexisting condition and am wondering if Hawaii COBRA is the best option for me?

It is difficult to say but for many people with preexisting conditions, keeping coverage with COBRA in Hawaii can be the best option since private plans, even PCIP plan, can be expensive. Additionally depending on the severity of your health condition, using COBRA ensures you don't have to change doctors, hospitals, medicines, or any other treatments. If COBRA is completely unaffordable, you may qualify for a Hawaii high-risk pool.