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Five Reasons to Keep Your Employer's Plan Through COBRA Extension

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Five Reasons to Keep Your Employer's Plan Through COBRA Extension

If you have taken COBRA continuation coverage insurance or have been offered COBRA coverage by your employer, you should consider carefully the pros and cons of taking the coverage. There are several reasons why you should elect COBRA coverage, or keep it if you already have it.

#1: Covered deductible

Though the cost of COBRA coverage may be high, if you have already paid your annual deductible and have a foreseeable need for healthcare before the plan year ends, it might be in your best interest to keep your COBRA coverage. A new insurance plan may have a lower premium, but the cost of the co-pay and deductibles may be even higher than the COBRA plan you already have.

#2: Staying with your current doctor

If you keep your COBRA coverage then you may also keep your current doctor and remain within the network of physicians you are accustomed to. If you change plans, you may also have to change provider networks.

#3: Medicare

If you have become eligible for Medicare, you may want to keep your COBRA dental, vision or drug coverage, as these may provide better benefits than the coverage you would get under Medicare Part B. Keep in mind that for the prescription drug coverage to be creditable it must be as good as or better than the drug plan you can get through Medicare.

#4: Other beneficiaries

Because COBRA gives all beneficiaries an independent right to continuation coverage, you or one of your beneficiaries may consider electing COBRA for them, and finding alternatives for yourself. Or, you may want to keep COBRA for yourself and find alternatives for your spouse or dependents.

#5: Avoiding the penalty

If you elect COBRA coverage and then change your mind about keeping it, you may have to pay the shared responsibility payment. This is because losing COBRA coverage because of non-payment of premiums is not a valid reason for a special enrollment period through the healthcare marketplace. You should either wait until your COBRA expires, or sign up for a plan during the open enrollment period.

Be sure to weigh your COBRA options carefully when you have been offered the continuation coverage. Your best bet may lie with COBRA continuation coverage.  RedQuote works with both employers and beneficiaries to help enroll people in COBRA continuation coverage.  If you want to learn more or enroll in COBRA, don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you find the right fit!

Published Jun 20, 2016.

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