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Idaho COBRA Insurance

Idaho COBRA Insurance

Many states have created their own Mini COBRA insurance plans, sometimes known as COBRA extension to help residents in their state who work at companies with less than the 20 required employees for federal COBRA. Unfortunately Idaho has not yet passed this type of legislation, which means that the only COBRA option is the federal plan.

Under the federal plan you can keep the medical insurance you had while you were employed (or that the covered employee had) given you meet certain requirements. Your plan stays exactly the same as it would if you were employed and extends to your spouse and any dependents.

Understanding Idaho COBRA Insurance

There are three important things to know when you are working to understand COBRA insurance and whether or not it is a strong option for you and is something you are eligible for: 1) eligibility, 2)cost, 3)term length. Once you understand those, you can begin to compare your COBRA insurance option to some other plans out there.

  1. Eligibility: In order to enroll in COBRA insurance in Idaho you must meet the three federal requirements - qualifying event, qualifying plan, and qualifying beneficiary. The first, qualifying event, refers to how health insurance was lost. For the covered employee a qualifying event includes losing your job, quitting your job, and retiring from your job without gross misconduct. For a qualifying beneficiary (like a spouse or dependent), the qualifying event includes divorce/legal separation, loss of dependent status, or if the covered employee passes away or qualifies for Medicare. The second, qualifying plan, is the type of health insurance plan you had when you were employed, or when the covered employee was employed. It must still be active, you (or the covered employee) must have been on the plan, and it must have covered at last 20 full time employees. Finally, the third eligibility condition is qualifying beneficiary, or who can enroll. COBRA works for the covered employee, their spouse, and any dependents. It will also extend to any new dependents who are brought into the family while on COBRA.
  2. Cost: The cost of COBRA insurance coverage is the next important thing to determine once you know you are eligible. This information will be located in your COBRA enrollment package but you can also calculate it on your own. COBRA costs 102% of the whole premium. That translates to meaning you have to pay what you paid and what your employer paid for health insurance plus a 2% fee. Most people find out that their employer subsidized a large portion of this cost and find that their COBRA costs are upwards of $1000 monthly.
  3. Term Length: The last thing to consider after cost is how long COBRA lasts. In most situations COBRA insurance lasts 18 months. It is only meant to be a temporary solution while you seek out another job with health insurance or an alternate plan.

Comparing COBRA Insurance and Other Idaho Health Plans

Lucky for us, COBRA insurance isn't the only plan out there given how expensive it is and given the fact that it eventually runs out. There are lots of other health insurance plans on the market, many of which likely meet your needs and will cost significantly less. The most common way to compare other plans to COBRA is to get a free quote below. Once you enter some basic information you will be provided with a long, no obligation list of health insurance plans, prices, and coverage. You can use that to compare against what your COBRA option is and make an informed decision. On average people save about 65% when they choose a plan other than COBRA.

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Idaho Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I get the election form to sign up for Idaho COBRA Insurance?

Your former employer should provide the election form within 14 days of losing your health insurance coverage. If you are considering Idaho COBRA due to divorce, death, or Medicare eligibility you will need to inform the health plan administrator of the event and then they will provide a notice. If you believe you failed to receive a COBRA election form for Idaho coverage, reach out to your former company or health insurance provider.

Is there an Idaho Mini COBRA insurance plan?

Yes. In Idaho the state created a Mini COBRA plan so that people who live in Idaho and work at companies with fewer than twenty employees can still benefit form COBRA and extend their coverage. The cost of Idaho COBRA coverage is the same as the federal plan.

Does Idaho COBRA last the same amount of time as federal COBRA?

The Mini Idaho COBRA plan lasts for 18 months just the federal plan does. In very rare instances can be extended beyond the 18 months. At the end of 18 months, a new health insurance plan will need to be found. Additionally you can cancel COBRA in Idaho at any time.

Are their lower cost options I can use for my children instead of Idaho COBRA?

There are some lower cost options you could use for your children instead of Idaho COBRA that can save you money. The most common is Medicaid if you qualify. The second most common plan is the CHIPS insurance plan, which provides free and reduced cost care to families living at or below a certain income limit.

Does the covered employee have to enroll in Idaho COBRA for other family members to be eligible?

No. You can determine exactly whom you would like to enroll in COBRA and who will use another health insurance plan. In fact, this is a great way to save money. You can sign up any family members with more serous medical needs who are likely to be denied coverage from another plan for COBRA and then find a less expensive insurance alternative for the remaining family members.