To COBRA or not to COBRA
June 4, 2012 5:26 PM   Subscribe

I've recently changed employers. My insurance from the previous employer terminated on 5/31. My new insurance starts on 6/23. I can get COBRA for the interim if need be. The question is, do I need it? There is a grace period, such that I don't have to decide until after 6/23, at which time, if I didn't need it during the period, I could save myself about $500. However, there is the concern of the 'pre-existing' condition, ie that period where I would not have insurance can somehow cause me to have 'pre-existing' conditions, whether indefinitely or for some period of time after 6/23 I don't know. The new insurance is Presbyterian Health. Can anyone advise?
posted by falsedmitri to Work & Money (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You should have a 62-day grace period between providers and not need to purchase COBRA. You should call Presbyterian Health to make absolutely 100% sure, though.
posted by phunniemee at 5:34 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Get COBRA because the next drunk driver could be right around the corner.
posted by swooz at 5:34 PM on June 4, 2012

Under current HIPAA law, the pre-existing condition exclusion kicks in after you've been without insurance for 63 days.
posted by scody at 5:34 PM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

Get COBRA because the next drunk driver could be right around the corner.

via: "COBRA beneficiaries have 60 days to decide whether they want COBRA coverage. If you enroll in COBRA before the 60 days are up, your coverage is then retroactive, as long as you pay the retroactive premiums. This means that if you incur medical bills during your "election period," you can retroactively — and legally — elect COBRA and have those bills covered."
posted by inigo2 at 5:37 PM on June 4, 2012 [13 favorites]

I was between jobs too and rode out the 30 day waiting period before my new insurance kicked in. What inigo2 says above is exactly right.
posted by sandyp at 5:47 PM on June 4, 2012

posted by jon1270 at 6:23 PM on June 4, 2012

I am trusting others to be correct about the grace period of 60ish days, but if I were in your shoes, I might want to look into catastrophic coverage, if you can get a plan for just a month, which should be significantly cheaper than $500.

But, check with your insurer first! I learned through metafilter that being doubly-insured is a BAD thing in many cases, as each insurance company will claim it is the other company's responsibility if something happens.

Anyone else have any opinions on catastrophic-only insurance in this scenario?
posted by shortyJBot at 6:24 PM on June 4, 2012

Why pay for insurance now if you can pay for COBRA later (if you need it) and you'll still be covered retroactively?
posted by Ochre,Hugh at 6:38 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

There is no need to look at other plans for the gap. You could elect COBRA after the fact, if need be.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:30 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the replies. I called Presbyterian and it turns out, even better, the my new employer's plan with them has no pre-existing condition clause. So 62 days is irrelevant.
posted by falsedmitri at 7:00 PM on June 5, 2012

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