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questions about health coverage / COBRA post getting laid off


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#1 gianfranko

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 12:51 PM

My wife and I have insurance through my employer and I was just told by several of my co-workers that I will be getting laid off when I get back to work next tuesday (08/03; back from a 3 week vacation).  So my first instinct is to think about the cost of my wife's medication.

I know I would be eligible for COBRA, but I am unsure how does it work:

-is there a time between where my employer's coverage end (they stop paying for coverage) and when COBRA starts?

     i.e. is there going to be a time lapse?



#2 hannibellemo

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 01:19 PM

There does not need to be a time lapse. If you are layed off you should get information for COBRA immediately from your employer. If you don't, then ask for it, don't wait for them to notify you, I believe legally they must notify you within 30 days. You will be paying the entire cost of the plan plus, possibly a small administration fee, that depends on your company. The benefits should be the same as they are now. I don't know if out of pocket costs and deductible costs will start over for you, that again depends on your company.

Good luck and sorry if the rumor turns out to be true!

Pat


Pat

 

"You can't change the direction of the wind but you can adjust your sails."

DX 12/08; Gleevec 400mg; liver toxicity; Sprycel 100mg.; CCyR 4/10; MMR 8/10; Pleural Effusion 2/12; Sprycel 50mg. Maintaining MMR; 2/15 PCRU; 8/16 drifting in and out of undetected like a wave meeting the shore. Retired 12/23/2016! 18 months of PCRU, most recent at Mayo on 7/25/17 was negative at their new sensitivity reporting of 0.003.<p>


#3 Susan61

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 04:56 PM

If you get laid off from work, your employer has to insure you for so many days, but you need to apply for COBRA immediately so that their is no lapse in coverage.  It will go directly from your present insurance right into COBRA.

I am insured under my  husbands company also, and we remember when he left his last company that we needed to proceed as I just mentioned.

The COBRA is so expensive.  ITs been quite a few years, but I do remember we were paying almost $900.00 a month to COBRA until my husband started a new job.    I do not know what your finances are, but we took money out of my  husband's 401K to pay for enough months of the COBRA until he started the other job.

I wish you the best.  We are in a situation right now, and it may require him to get insurance somehow.  He is too young for Medicare, and not sure if he will be able to keep working with his medical problems.

I know how hard it is to make the right decisions.

Susan



#4 tadly

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 06:04 PM

Too bad about the layoff .

A basic part of COBRA is that it continues your health insurance.  And without a time gap in coverage. 

But the employee must submit forms and payments by deadlines.  Your employer would stop paying for the insurance, as of the date you're  terminated.   Each employee gets a certain amount of time to decide if they will use Cobra  or not.  If an employee continues under Cobra with the employer's  plan, then the employee pays the full monthly cost (both the employer and employee portion).  The payment due as well as the coverage, are retroactive to the date of termination. 

Some particulars can vary with Employers or their health insurance plans.  I'm guessing that almost any plan based on group rates (employer plans) , despite the higher monthly cost using Cobra, will be a better deal than the plans that will become available under Obamacare.



#5 gianfranko

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 09:18 PM

Susan, was $900 a month covering only your husband or both - you and your husband?

Currently we have Aetna PPO group insurance and my monthly cost (after the employer pays their part) is about $220 per month or to be more acurate: $110 biweekly for the two of us.  Does this information help anyone figure out (roughly) how much it would cost if we had to pay the full amount?

$1000 per month?  more?

God, now I am so worried...



#6 hannibellemo

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 07:32 PM

Do you know what percentage of your insurance you pay? Otherwise there is no way for us to know what the cost of your plan is. Also, if you pay a month in advance (as most do) then the last day of coverage would be the last day of the month in which you are laid off, not the last day you worked.

My municipality is self-insured so our costs are lower than if we had to purchase an actual plan. It costs the city about $900/mo for family coverage. If we were to purchase a plan with the same benefits it would be about $1600/mo.

I don't mean to scare you but I doubt it will be inexpensive, but nothing compared to having no insurance at all.

Pat


Pat

 

"You can't change the direction of the wind but you can adjust your sails."

DX 12/08; Gleevec 400mg; liver toxicity; Sprycel 100mg.; CCyR 4/10; MMR 8/10; Pleural Effusion 2/12; Sprycel 50mg. Maintaining MMR; 2/15 PCRU; 8/16 drifting in and out of undetected like a wave meeting the shore. Retired 12/23/2016! 18 months of PCRU, most recent at Mayo on 7/25/17 was negative at their new sensitivity reporting of 0.003.<p>


#7 mark1963

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 08:21 PM

In 2010 I had to cobra my aetna plan due to a lay off. You have 60 days to make tour decision. Regardless there is no lapse in coverage. They will bill you from the time your insurance terminates. I called my benefit administrator the day I was laid off and explained my situation frequently dropping the L bomb. Within a week I got the paperwork with the prices. I called them that day and mailed a check for 2 months that day. 17 days after I was laid off they had cashed my check. I had to call repeatedly to get my prescription filled. on the last day of the first month they had to do an emergency turn on so I could get my gleevec. I was laid off on a friday the 29th of the month. I was billed for the 2 remaining days in that month. For my wife and I it was $900 a month for health only. I waived dental and vision. that was a 500 deductible with 20% co pay to $4k. and $30 co pay per prescription for the gleevec. Keep on them. It's a right not a privelidge. At one point they told me to pay for the gleevec and said they would reimburse me.

hope this helps. good luck

mark



#8 Susan61

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 11:06 PM

HI:  We do have Aetna and we have Express Scripts for our prescriptions.  It did cost us $900.00 a month to pay for both of us.  We pay $353.00 a month for our benefits.  Gary was just out of work on Disability, and we had to mail in the $353.00 monthly to his employer to maintain the benefits.  If you get laid off, you will be able to get unemployment.

Is there a chance this is a temporary lay off?  Everybody's insurance works different.  Gary's company is self-insured also.  Not to get personal, but do you have something else you could draw from to maintain your benefits till you find new employment.  We were fortunate last time that we were able to get money to pay COBRA until he started a new job.

   I do understand your concern and worry believe me.  Like i said my situation is confusing right now.  I can pick-up Medicare for myself if he cannot work, but he cannot do anything till he is 65.  He just turned 62.  Wish I could be more helpful.  Lets pray your co-workers were wrong.  You will be covered so many days like Pat said.  You will not lose your coverage as soon as you get laid off.  You will have time to look into this.

Susan



#9 Susan61

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 11:13 PM

Obama Care is going to be a mess.  The only good thing I can share is that if my husband was to take his social security now at 62, and still work he has to work 35 hours a week to maintain his benefits.  This January he will only have to do 31 hours.  He is going to take the SS in January, but we have to keep a record of his income, so not to go over what they allow which is a little over $15,000.00 a year.  IF he goes over, then they deduct the money from his SS.

If he goes on Permanent SS Disability, then we have a whole new problem for benefits.

They get you coming and going no matter what you do.

If anyone can share anything regarding SS and working, I would appreciate it.

Susan



#10 gianfranko

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 04:53 AM

Thanks for everyone's answers.

Today is the day I go back to work.  If I get laid off, I will immediately ask about the COBRA benefits.  I just came back from a 3-week vacation to China were me and the wife finally got to have a proper wedding ceremony.  Last year we had gotten married by the court so that I could add her to my health plan.  Her individual health plan at the time sucked and we had been paying way too much for gleevec.

I guess it just stings coming back from wedding / honey moon / vacation and be greeted with: "your job has been terminated".



#11 hannibellemo

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 06:35 AM

Well, I can certainly understand your feelings! That is truly a rotten thing to do to an employee!

Good luck, congratulations on your "proper" wedding and I hope you had a great honeymoon/ vacation - at least until one of your colleagues spoiled it for you!

Pat


Pat

 

"You can't change the direction of the wind but you can adjust your sails."

DX 12/08; Gleevec 400mg; liver toxicity; Sprycel 100mg.; CCyR 4/10; MMR 8/10; Pleural Effusion 2/12; Sprycel 50mg. Maintaining MMR; 2/15 PCRU; 8/16 drifting in and out of undetected like a wave meeting the shore. Retired 12/23/2016! 18 months of PCRU, most recent at Mayo on 7/25/17 was negative at their new sensitivity reporting of 0.003.<p>


#12 Susan61

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:37 AM

Hope you have good news to post regarding your job.  Congratulations on getting the wedding you both wanted.



#13 chriskuo

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 12:55 PM

Rather than rely on unsubstantiated rumors about Obamacare, anybody who is losing regular employee insurance (going to COBRA) should investigate Obamacare for themselves

beginning October 1.  There are a lot of politicians spreading negative information about Obamacare for their own political purposes.  In reality, the coverage and cost will be much better

than what is currently available, including COBRA.



#14 gianfranko

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 01:56 PM

Just got back and I was indeed laid off.  They did, however, offer me a severance package of 2 months pay that includes health and dental.  After that, COBRA will be accessible for 18 months.  HR also told me that I can elect to have my wife covered on COBRA while I go ahead and get another plan from some other source.  That to me sounds like good plan.  Can anyone here, that has experience with COBRA, verify that this is indeed a possibility?



#15 hannibellemo

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 10:10 PM

Absolutely!Wasn't she on your insurance already? Other than you will pay the entire cost of your coverage, the COBRA coverage will be no different then what you have now.

Hope you find another position in your field quickly!

Pat


Pat

 

"You can't change the direction of the wind but you can adjust your sails."

DX 12/08; Gleevec 400mg; liver toxicity; Sprycel 100mg.; CCyR 4/10; MMR 8/10; Pleural Effusion 2/12; Sprycel 50mg. Maintaining MMR; 2/15 PCRU; 8/16 drifting in and out of undetected like a wave meeting the shore. Retired 12/23/2016! 18 months of PCRU, most recent at Mayo on 7/25/17 was negative at their new sensitivity reporting of 0.003.<p>


#16 chriskuo

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:52 AM

Are you aware that enrollment for Obamacare starts October 1 and coverage starts January 1?  You will have 60 days to sign up for COBRA.  Use that time to investigate the coverage available in your state exchange.



#17 gianfranko

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 06:01 AM

Chris,

I had some questions regarding your post.  First, and this seems like a bit of a stupid question, when you say enrollment "starts" October 1; Is there a time enrollment ends?  In other words, does the enrollment period end some time before January 1st?  How do I go about looking at the plans offered by my state exchange?  Are these plans able to discriminate / jack up prices due to my wife's condition (CML + gleevec)?



#18 gianfranko

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 06:03 AM

Yes, she was indeed covered in the plan already.  What I didn't know was that I could leave her on the COBRA without me taking the same COBRA coverage.  I thought the choices where both or nothing.



#19 hannibellemo

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 09:45 PM

Interesting, I didn't know that either. That should help your costs.  Pat

Pat

 

"You can't change the direction of the wind but you can adjust your sails."

DX 12/08; Gleevec 400mg; liver toxicity; Sprycel 100mg.; CCyR 4/10; MMR 8/10; Pleural Effusion 2/12; Sprycel 50mg. Maintaining MMR; 2/15 PCRU; 8/16 drifting in and out of undetected like a wave meeting the shore. Retired 12/23/2016! 18 months of PCRU, most recent at Mayo on 7/25/17 was negative at their new sensitivity reporting of 0.003.<p>


#20 chriskuo

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 02:13 AM

Preexisting conditions will not effect the premiums.  The premiums will vary to a limited extent based on age.






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