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Tennessee COBRA Insurance

Tennessee COBRA Insurance

In addition to the federal COBRA option, there is also an additional option for Tennessee COBRA insurance if you find out the federal plan isn't an option for you. This plan is an extension of the COBRA continuation law passed in 1986 by the federal government for residents of Tennessee. This Tennessee law offers an additional COBRA option for residents who work at companies with fewer than twenty full time employees (or their part time equivalents) so that they can also continue their insurance after job loss. This plan is only available to residents who don't qualify for the federal law but works in a virtually identical way. While it is a good option for many people, especially with serious medical needs, it is a high cost plan and it is important to always compare TN COBRA to other plans available.

The Basics of Tennessee COBRA Insurance

The first thing to understand about TN COBRA coverage is that it is a law not an insurance plan. This law allows families and individuals to keep the coverage they had when the employee was working after they lose their jobs. It also extends to people who quit or retired. Under this law, to be able to continue to maintain the same insurance you had, you must meet the following three conditions.

First, you must have an event that entitles you to COBRA.

For the employee and their family members this could be job loss, quitting of a job, or retirement. This isn't applicable when gross misconduct is present. Additionally for family members this could include death of the person who was employed and sponsored the plan, divorce from the person who was covered, or could be when a child is no longer considered a dependent and therefore loses coverage.

Second, the plan that the employee was on must be eligible.

An eligible plan is one that is still in use, which the employee was a part of for three months or more, and that provided care to between 2-19 people.

Third, you must be someone who is eligible for COBRA under the law.

This includes the worker, their spouse, the their dependents/children. This can also extend to any new children that are born while on TN COBRA insurance.

Length of Coverage for TN COBRA

Unfortunately, the state of Tennessee only offers COBRA coverage for 90 days, or three months. The federal plan lasts for 18 months. Since this is a very quick plan length, many people decide to opt for a private health insurance plan from the start unless they already have another job with insurance.

Termination of Tennessee COBRA

You can lose your TN COBRA coverage for a number of reasons. The first and most common reason is due to failure to pay premiums. If you do not pay your monthly COBRA premium on time then the plan will be terminated. In the event you can't pay, contact your health insurance company and find out if you can work out a payment plan. Companies normally understand if you are in contact with them. The second most common reason is if companies go out of business and no longer offer health insurance. Unfortunately COBRA isn't an option when companies go out of business.

COBRA Alternatives in Tennessee: Finding a Lower Cost, Longer Term Option

Since COBRA insurance in Tennessee is very expensive and only lasts for 3 months, it is wise for many people to seek out an alternate plan. Although there are some plans through the government for families earning a very low income, most people find that a private plan is their best option. Plans come in all shapes and sizes and can offer the same coverage you had while employed. Most people save over $600 monthly when they decide to sign up for a private plan. Use the free quote below to begin exploring your options. It provides all major plans in your area. There is no obligation to sign up for anything but it will help you understand your options and do the research you need to do to find the right plan.

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Tennessee Frequently Asked Questions

I just enrolled in COBRA insurance in Tennessee, how long can I use it for?

Most people who enroll in TN COBRA are able to continue their group insurance plan for 90 days, or 3 months, with COBRA coverage. Given the short length of this coverage, many Tennessee residents decide to sign up for a governmental or private plan from the start so that they will not have to switch providers after 90 days.

My employer never sent me a Tennessee COBRA election form, who should I contact?

If you do not receive your election notice then you should immediately contact your former employer and health insurance company. After contacting them, you can reach out to the TN Department of Labor and their Consumer Insurance Services office. They will be able to assist you in determining what actions need to be taken.

I only have ten days left for TN COBRA, what options do I have now?

When your Tennessee COBRA insurance ends you will want to find new coverage. Under the current laws it is important to never have a lapse in coverage because that will open you up to being denied coverage in the future under ARRA. In terms of options when TN COBRA runs out, most people sign up for a plan with a private company while others explore PCIP plans, government plans, and community plans. Read more about options when COBRA runs out.

Is there a way to reduce the cost of my TN COBRA coverage?

Depending on your medical needs and budget, there are multiple ways to cut down on the expense of COBRA in Tennessee. The easiest way is to explore private plans by getting a free quote and determining what other plans and rates are on the market. Additionally if you have more serious medical needs or preexisting conditions you can consider a preexisting condition insurance plan or high-risk pool. Learn more about other ways to reduce the cost of COBRA in Tennessee.

What exactly is the Tennessee Mini COBRA insurance program?

The TN Mini COBRA plan is simply a plan that opens up the benefits of COBRA to people who reside in Tennessee and work at companies with between 2-19 employees. These individuals would normally be disqualified from continuation insurance if it weren't for this state run program.