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Washington COBRA Insurance

Washington COBRA Insurance

Facing unemployment due to job loss, retirement, or even quitting can be difficult for any person or family. This situation is only made more complicated by facing complicated health insurance decisions, including whether Washington COBRA Insurance is right for you.

While some states offer their own Mini COBRA programs, there is no additional Washington COBRA insurance. These plans normally extend coverage to people who work at smaller companies or otherwise do not qualify under the federal law. Since Washington does not offer this program, your only option for COBRA in Washington will be the federal plan, but you can also explore private insurance plans and government insurance plans depending on your situation. Many people find they save substantially when they choose these types of plans.

Option 1: Federal COBRA Insurance in Washington

In 1986 the government passed a law as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) to protect people from suddenly being without medical insurance. They recognized the potentially enormous medical and financial consequences of losing health coverage overnight so within the law they set up conditions that allowed people to keep their employer sponsored insurance after voluntary and involuntary job loss. Under the law, their plan would stay exactly the same for them and their families if they met three requirements known as qualifying plan, qualifying beneficiary, and qualifying event.

The main downside to this type of coverage is that it comes at a high price. In fact most families spend over $1000 monthly if they choose to continue their health insurance with COBRA. Additionally it is only temporary coverage and lasts for just 18 months in most circumstances.

Option 2: Government Insurance Packages

The second option for individuals and families living at or near the federal poverty line are governmental medical insurance packages. These plans are offered through both the state and federal government and are normally free or very affordable. They are based on income levels. Many times people find that there are plans that their children will qualify for that can reduce the cost of insurance for the entire family. You can learn more about these plans by contacting your local Social Services department.

Option 3: Private Medical Insurance

The final option, and the one that most people ending up choosing, is a private health insurance plans. These plans are offered through major companies like Blue Cross and Aetna and provide individualized coverage based on your needs and budgets. The three most popular plans that people use are:

To learn more about each of these plans as well as what they cover and how much they cost, you can get a free quote below. It will provide you with a myriad of options that you can compare to Washington COBRA insurance coverage.

  • Full Coverage Individual and Family Plans: These plans most closely resemble employer sponsored plans and offer full coverage through HMOs and PPOs depending on your needs and preferences. The average cost of this type of plan is 65% than COBRA for people who are relatively healthy.
  • Catastrophic Insurance Plans: This type of plan only covers emergency medical needs and will not include any ongoing medical coverage like doctor appointments or prescriptions. It is only to cover you in case of major medical incidents.
  • High Deductible Insurance Plans: Like the name suggests, these plans have very expensive deductibles before insurance kicks in and provides coverage. Like catastrophic plans, they really are only meant to cover any major medical expenses.
  • Preexisting Condition Insurance Plans (PCIP): If you have a condition that makes it difficult to qualify for private plans, PCIP insurance may be what you need. These plans are created specifically for people who have ongoing medical needs and have been denied from normal private plans.
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Washington Frequently Asked Questions

Does the state of Washington have a Mini COBRA plan?

Right now the state of Washington does not have its own COBRA plan for people to use who do not qualify for federal COBRA. For people in this situation it is recommended to look at private insurance plans or governmental/community options to make sure you stay insured and do not experience a dangerous and costly lapse in coverage.

Can I sign up for Washington state continuation if I don't qualify for COBRA?

There is no such thing as Washington State Continuation insurance unfortunately. Although some states do have these programs, Washington does not. If you are not eligible for COBRA you will have to look for your own health insurance plan to ensure you remain covered.

What free and reduced care options are there for children in Washington?

There is a program in Washington known as Basic Health that offers lower cost care to certain people depending on their household income and needs. Commonly people are eligible for Washington Basic Health if they are a legal Washington resident, between 19-64 years old, have gross family income at or below 200% of the Federal Income Guidelines, have countable income for your family between 0-133% of the Federal Income Guidelines, and are not eligible for Medicaid.

I am moving abroad, can I still use my Washington COBRA insurance?

Most times when someone moves abroad their COBRA insurance will no longer work because health plans are limited to certain areas. You can call your health insurance company to check, but hardly any plans offer international coverage.

What can I expect in terms of medical care if I sign up for COBRA in Washington?

Your medical care will be the exact same as it was because COBRA is a continuation of the health plan you had while working. All costs and care will be the same.