Generally, COBRA health insurance lasts for either 18 months or 36 months depending on what qualifying event occurred. For example, if the loss of employment or reduction in work hours is the qualifying event, then the COBRA benefits will extend for 18 months. Other qualifying events may make an employee eligible for 36 months of coverage.

However, there are certain conditions that may call for extended or shortened coverage with COBRA. For example, your coverage may be terminated early if you fail to fully pay your premiums or you are not making timely payments. If an employer ceases to provide health insurance as a benefit to employees, COBRA insurance may also end early.

How long does COBRA Health Insurance last?
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Your COBRA insurance may also be terminated early if you become a beneficiary of another group plan or government insurance program like Medicare. Committing crimes such as insurance fraud is also a valid justification for early termination from the program. Insurance companies are required to provide an early termination notice if they are terminating a beneficiary’s coverage early.

There are a few circumstances in which a beneficiary of COBRA insurance with 18 months of continuing coverage can have their benefits extended. For example, if one of the qualified beneficiaries becomes disabled, everyone on that shared plan will have their benefits extended for an additional 11 months. Insurance companies are permitted to increase the price of the COBRA monthly premium up to 150% during this extension.

For this extension to apply, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must determine that the qualified beneficiary has a disability within the first 60 days of the continuation coverage. Additionally, the disability must be long-term and last for a period that extends through the rest of the initial 18-month period of COBRA coverage.

Another qualifying event that may be cause for an extension is if there is a divorce, legal separation, death, loss of dependent child status, or Medicare entitlement by a beneficiary. This event must also lead to the loss of coverage under the plan if the first qualifying event never occurred. In this case, COBRA can be extended for another 18 months.

If there is any qualifying event that leads to the extension of COBRA, the qualifying beneficiary is required to notify the plan within 60 days.

People who do not apply for COBRA may be eligible to receive healthcare coverage through government programs, medical grants, and other insurance providers on the health insurance marketplace.

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By Admin