If you have a job with health insurance, then you may not want to do anything to jeopardize your access to those benefits. What happens if you leave your job though? You may assume that you’ll become uninsured if you do. That’s not necessarily the case though. You may qualify for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) coverage.
COBRA is a type of temporary health insurance that’s offered to individuals who’ve recently lost their jobs. Many part- and full-time workers who were previously covered by health insurance for one day or more qualify for COBRA upon termination from their role. It doesn’t matter whether the individual left their role involuntarily or voluntarily in such instances.
There are certain eligibility requirements that workers must meet to qualify for this type of temporary health insurance. That qualifying criterion varies depending on their former employer’s COBRA classification. A company’s status is closely tied to how many full-time equivalents (FTEs), or workers, that they have on staff.
Companies that have 20 or more FTEs must allow any worker that has been covered by its health insurance plan for at least a day to apply for the federally-administered version of COBRA. Workers in these instances generally have no minimum requirement in terms of how many days they must have worked to receive such benefits.
Any worker that received health insurance from a company that employs less than 20 FTEs may qualify for the state-administered COBRA coverage. Any worker wishing to qualify for such benefits must have worked the state statutory minimum amount of days on the job if they wish to qualify to receive COBRA.
Workers who lost health insurance coverage due to their company going out of business generally don’t qualify for COBRA benefits.
It can be quite unnerving to leave your job. This is especially the case if there’s a gap in coverage between the time when you leave one job and the benefits kick in at another.
There’s a lot of stress that goes into taking on a new work role. Worrying about how you’re going to pay your medical bills during that time shouldn’t be one of them. An attorney here in Washington, D.C. can review your employment situation and advise you of your right to receive COBRA benefits in your case.