Health Insurance & COBRA: Options during Covid19

During this time of uncertainty, many businesses are balancing the well-being of their employees with keeping the business itself running. In some cases this means making changes to daily operations that impact employee health insurance benefits leaving many employees to wonder if they should continue on with the company offered benefits at a higher premium, or simply pay for their own insurance. The answer to most of these questions is, “It depends,” since company sponsored insurance varies so widely.

COBRA or private health insurance…which is better for employees losing coverage due to Covid19?

My company has offered me COBRA but it’s way too expensive. Should I just get Obamacare?

If you decide not to take COBRA coverage, you can enroll in a Marketplace plan instead. Losing job-based coverage qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), meaning that you have 60 days to enroll in a different health plan, even if it’s outside the dates of your state’s yearly enrollment period. Before making the decision to drop COBRA though, it is important that you compare the prices and other options to be sure that a plan on Healthcare.gove

The company I work for has closed it’s doors. Do I still get COBRA?

Usually no, you do not have the option of COBRA if your company has shuttered. Private insurance may be your only option if the company has closed it’s doors but with the coronavirus stimulus package, currently begin debated in Congress, businesses may be able to offer extended benefits. If they actually can and want to though is up to the individual business.

My company has me on “furlough” so I’m not fired but I can’t work for the company. What do I do?

This is another time that coverage is up to the employer. The company may consider furlough a “qualifying event” to continue insurance coverage or it may not. There are pros and cons of each for the business. You will need a definite answer from your HR department or business owner on this one.

Whatever options you choose, it’s important to know that individual healthcare plans, or Obamacare are available to all Americans. You may or may not qualify for subsidies on government issued plans and the regulations are changing often.

If you’re an employee whose insurance benefits are changing or lost due to Covid19, let us know and we will help sort through your options for no charge.

Call 703.969.1811 or contact us now.

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