While we wish that we could plan every detail in our lives, sometimes plans change and you end up in-between jobs. At Insuraway we can help you bridge the gap between one job to the next. Since termination of employment in many circumstances is a qualifying life event, you’ll have several options to consider outside of Cobra. Let’s look at Cobra Alternatives and what type of plans Insuraway has to help you stay protected.
What is COBRA?
Also known as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, COBRA is a fancy phrase for an act that ensures you can continue your health insurance if you lose it, depending on several determining factors. Signed into law in 1985, it was an amendment to the original Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Its purpose was to protect employees from losing health benefits if something occurred to interrupt their employer-based health insurance plans.
What Are My Alternatives?
While COBRA makes sense for some consumers, it’s usually expensive and isn’t a long-term solution. If you lose your employer-based insurance you may want to consider a more affordable alternative solution to cover your needs.
Those eligible for COBRA should first see if they are eligible for a plan through Obamacare on the marketplace. Depending on your income, dependents, and other factors, you could qualify for subsidies and tax credits that lower your premiums. Some consumers pay as little as $10/month for silver plans on the marketplace. All plans offered on the marketplace include ten essential benefits and cover pre-existing conditions.
If you have a short gap and are healthy, you may not want to pay the high premiums for COBRA you may want to consider a short-term plan or catastrophic insurance. These plans protect in case of major emergencies or severe injury and illness. They will typically cost way less but won’t cover pre-existing conditions. Each plan will be different and you should investigate what your plan does and does not cover before deciding to go in this direction.
What can Insuraway offer me?
Sometimes in life, your health insurance needs may be temporary. You may be waiting for your employer-based insurance to kick in or you are waiting for your ACA coverage to start. Short-term insurance can cover you from 1-12 months depending on your state, and allow you to pick exactly the coverage you need. In some situations, you can get coverage as soon as the next day after your application is filed.
Short-term insurance was not meant to be a permanent solution and varies greatly from ACA plans. You should typically only consider short-term coverage if any of the following circumstances apply to you:
- You are unable to apply for coverage through the marketplace because you missed Open Enrollment and you don’t qualify for Special Enrollment
- You are waiting for your ACA coverage to start
- Looking for coverage to bridge you to Medicare
- Turning 26 and coming off your parent’s insurance
- Between jobs or waiting for benefits to begin at your new job
- Healthy and under 65
Unlike coverage from the marketplace, short-term plans are not required to have any specific benefits, instead, you purchase the plan that has exactly the coverage you need. Short-term coverage doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions as marketplace plans do, so your medical costs for any pre-existing illnesses or injuries will be fully out of pocket.
The marketplace offers four types of plans, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each tier offers different benefits, and typically the higher the metal category, the higher the cost. All coverage plans on the marketplace are required to adhere to certain criteria, including covering pre-existing conditions. In existing to covering pre-existing conditions, all plans must cover ten essential benefits including:
- Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
- Emergency services
- Hospitalization (like surgery and overnight stays)
- Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth)
- Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (this includes counseling and psychotherapy)
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)
- Laboratory services
- Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
- Pediatric services, including oral and vision care (but adult dental and vision coverage aren’t essential health benefits)
Insurance Benefits for Employees
“I have a small business and offering some type of insurance benefits to my employees really helped with retention and finding great talent.”
Great Customer Service!
“Good customer service and support is so hard to come by these days. It was nice to work with a company that still takes that serious, they definitely earned my business.”
Pre-existing Medical Concerns
“I had a few pre-existing medical concerns, and my family was growing. I am so glad I contacted Insuraway. In one day, I was able to check “insurance” on my to-do list! LOVE THEM!”
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Insuraway.com is privately owned and operated by (Insuraway Group LLC.) d/b/a Insuraway Insurance Agency. Invitations for applications for insurance on Insuraway.com are processed through Insuraway Insurance Agency, only where licensed and appointed. Insuraway Insurance Agency is licensed to sell insurance products in the following states: FL #L10284 & Texas #2627607. We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.