If it was COBRA...it would've bitten me AND my family!
September 11, 2009 5:59 AM   Subscribe

Since being fired last month, I'm in the process of getting health insurance for my family. But, I'm kind of confused with this COBRA '65/35 for nine months' deal with the government. I'm awaiting to hear from our local Blue Cross provider for a 9/15 effective date, but, our calculations show that the COBRA discounted price for nine months would be roughly $150 less than the Blue Cross premium. Now, it is my understanding that you have to elect COBRA AND send in your request for the 65/35 subsidy at the same time. If I don't get the subsidy, I want to go with Blue Cross. How do I do this properly? Is there any way I can apply for the subsidy without requesting COBRA at the same time?
posted by littleredwagon to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
My COBRA began in March of this year, then in May, after getting all the paperwork in order, I began receiving the discounted premium. I had to pay the entire 100% premium the first few months while the discount was in process, but once it was approved I went several months without having to pay anything at all as the overpayment covered the due amount. Once it was all evened out, I now pay the 35% rate monthly. The discounted premium will last for nine months total, then COBRA will continue for another nine months after that at 100% premium.
posted by netbros at 6:13 AM on September 11, 2009


BTW, here is the ARRA information site.
posted by netbros at 6:18 AM on September 11, 2009


Best answer: My COBRA began in May this year, and I began receiving the discounted premium immediately. The paperwork consisted of electing COBRA and sending in my request for the subsidy at the same time (which I did in early April). The discounted premium will last for nine months total, then COBRA will continue for another nine months after that at 100% premium.
posted by majick at 6:21 AM on September 11, 2009


Best answer: Provided you meet the following requirements, you are "assistance eligible":

An "assistance eligible individual" is the employee or a member of his/her family who:

* is eligible for COBRA continuation coverage at any time between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009;
* elects COBRA coverage; and
* is eligible for COBRA as a result of the employee's involuntary termination between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009.

As you can see, there's not much to it. If you meet the three stipulations, you will be eligible for the discounted premium.
posted by netbros at 6:38 AM on September 11, 2009


Yeah, this is one of those nifty things where you don't have to do much extra or haggle or plead with an insurance company to get the subsidy. There's no reason to think you won't get the subsidy -- put the extra in your savings account for healthcare costs down the road.
posted by amanda at 6:45 AM on September 11, 2009


There is also an income limitation to the subsidy.
posted by micawber at 7:59 AM on September 11, 2009


Keep in mind the subsidy runs nine months, not indefinitely.
posted by WCityMike at 8:40 AM on September 11, 2009


Best answer: I'm currently on the subsidy, which is automatic. I haven't talked to anyone who had to enroll in the subsidy separate from COBRA. In fact, my benefits administrator and BC/BS said outright that they assume you are eligible for the subsidy and that if you're ineligible (due to income or qualification for insurance through another employer), it's up to you to tell them. The subsidy didn't kick in right away. It took a few months, and I was credited for what I already paid on subsequent bills.
posted by lunalaguna at 10:58 AM on September 11, 2009


I just wanted to add for anyone looking at this thread later that the subsidy made it possible for me to afford COBRA, which ended up being a literal life-saver earlier this summer when I got appendicitis.
posted by lunalaguna at 11:00 AM on September 11, 2009


My former employer's benefits administrator sent me a separate form to apply for the subsidy at the same time they sent the basic COBRA sign-up stuff. (I had to explain to my former company that yes, they had in fact laid me off, but then it all went like clockwork.)

Like lunalaguna, I could not have afforded COBRA without the subsidy. It is giving me time to investigate other options for when the subsidy time runs out.
posted by catlet at 1:26 PM on September 11, 2009


I had to pay the entire 100% premium the first few months while the discount was in process, but once it was approved I went several months without having to pay anything at all as the overpayment covered the due amount. Once it was all evened out, I now pay the 35% rate monthly.

Ditto. I didn't have to do anything after electing COBRA to get the subsidy. I only had to do something if I didn't want the subsidy.
posted by LionIndex at 3:08 PM on September 11, 2009


Response by poster: Thanks everyone!
posted by littleredwagon at 7:10 AM on September 14, 2009


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