Q: I am losing health insurance from my employer? Should I take COBRA or buy my own?
A: Great question that comes up in several situations: *Changing jobs; *Leaving a job to start a new business; *No longer eligible for the employer’s health insurance because work hours have been reduced; *Lose your job for any reason; *Employer decides to discontinue offering group health insurance; or *Employer goes out of business.
When a person loses health insurance from an employer, the coverage will usually continue through the end of the month. In most situations, if the business has 20 or more employees, the employer must offer COBRA to the employee and any family members that were participating in the employer’s plan. COBRA is an acronym for the legislation that created the law in 1986. The employer is required to offer continued participation in the group health plan for up to 18 months; in some circumstances 36 months. Dental and vision insurance may also be included. The employee must pay the full premium plus a small administration fee...