COBRA, no Starship
August 22, 2012 9:57 AM Subscribe
How precisely do we handle payments for medical appointments until COBRA kicks in? And is there anything new I should know about COBRA post-Obamacare?
I am about to switch jobs. I'll have health insurance at my new job, but my domestic partner can't be covered at my new job right away. (They have different requirements, it'll take a while before we can meet them.) So in the meanwhile, he'll go on COBRA. I have talked to the benefits people and confirmed this is kosher, and we're prepared for the expense. But I do have a couple of questions that didn't apply the previous time I was on COBRA:
1) My partner has a couple of chronic medical conditions and will almost certainly require appointments and medication refills between now and whenever we actually get the COBRA paperwork, send it back with the check, and it all gets processed. How does this work? Does he pay for everything out of pocket, and if so, will we eventually get a check for the COBRA coverage? Or is it possible he can just tell his doctors that he's in the COBRA process election and they'll postpone submitting the claims, or something? I'm guessing the answer varies by doctor, but if it's always one way or the other, we'd like to know.
2) Bonus question: Since I was last on COBRA, we had this whole healthcare reform thing. Has that done anything new and different to COBRA coverage or procedures that we ought to know about?
(Should it matter: Pennsylvania, and opposite-sex domestic partners of many, many years. Would really rather not get driven to marriage by the sheer annoyance of paperwork if there are other options.)