Freelancing and COBRA
May 1, 2010 4:37 PM   Subscribe

Can I take freelance or contract jobs without losing my COBRA health insurance?

I got laid off my full time job but kept my group insurance plan through COBRA for the next 18 months. If I take a freelance or contract job, can I still remain on my COBRA health insurance plan or would I need to get a new personal plan if I did freelance work?

I am getting surgery in a month and want to make absolutely sure I don't lose my insurance if I take this freelance job I got offered.
posted by truth1ness to Work & Money (3 answers total)
You can keep COBRA unless you become covered under another group health plan. People routinely keep COBRA when they take other jobs that don't provide insurance (such as freelance or contracting).

However, if you are receiving the ARRA subsidy and your new gig does offer insurance, being eligible for group health coverage will exclude you from the subsidy (being covered under a group health plan will terminate your COBRA all together).
posted by Pax at 4:42 PM on May 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

You should also definitely ask your former employer's HR (the one that is providing the COBRA) for clarification. Most are happy to help you. Though I can understand why you might not be interested in asking them for anything.
posted by TimeDoctor at 6:09 PM on May 1, 2010

Pax is correct. Having a new source of income doesn't end your COBRA coverage or your COBRA subsidy provided by ARRA. Becoming eligible for other group coverage will end the ARRA subsidy. Here is some IRS information on when the COBRA subsidy ends, and how to notify your former employer. Freelancing and contract jobs will almost certainly not make you eligible for new group health insurance coverage.

Your rights to coverage continuation under COBRA don't end with new group coverage eligibility, but end when new group coverage begins. Some general information on COBRA.
posted by Snerd at 6:33 PM on May 1, 2010

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