COBRA for weekend coverage?
November 4, 2011 7:20 PM   Subscribe

Insurance coverage from previous job ended on Friday without COBRA. Insurance from new job starts retroactively on the following Monday. I have pre-existing health issues. How do we know if we need COBRA or not?

I'm being told that the new group insurance has to take us because it would be discrimination otherwise, but that doesn't reassure me that they'll cover expenses related to my health issue. Who do I really need to talk to? Should we pay a month's worth of (the very expensive) COBRA just to cover the 2-day gap?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You have 45 days to sign up for COBRA, retroactive to the first day. So you don't have to pay anything to cover any gap shorter than that.
posted by gerryblog at 7:24 PM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

As long as you had coverage within the previous 63 days, you're good. You may need what's known as a Certificate of Creditable Coverage from your old insurance provider to show your new provider (the old provider should generate this automatically and send it to you, but you can always call and ask) to prove that your gap hasn't been more than 63 days.
posted by scody at 7:24 PM on November 4, 2011 [5 favorites]

As for the preexisting condition exclusion, the gap there is 62 days, so you're good there too.
posted by gerryblog at 7:26 PM on November 4, 2011

I would call and ask for your certificate of credible coverage. My letter wasn't automatically generated for whatever reason and the delay has been annoying, resulting in bills being "denied" for pre-existing conditions. It will all get straightened out but I wish I didn't have to deal with the mess
posted by gilsonal at 7:27 PM on November 4, 2011

As others have said, no hurry to decide. From the U.S. Department of Labor's An employee's Guide to Health Benefits under COBRA:

If you become entitled to elect COBRA continuation coverage, you must be given an election period of at least 60 days (starting on the later of the date you are furnished the election notice or the date you would lose coverage) to choose whether or not to elect continuation coverage.

Each of the qualified beneficiaries for a qualifying event may independently elect continuation coverage. This means that if both you and your spouse are entitled to elect continuation coverage, you each may decide separately whether to do so. The covered employee or the spouse must be allowed, however, to elect on behalf of any dependent children or on behalf of all of the qualified beneficiaries. A parent or legal guardian may elect on behalf of a minor child.

posted by Snerd at 7:30 PM on November 4, 2011

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