With the high health care costs, continuation of your health insurance and medical insurance benefits is an important consideration for many unemployed people, those who are looking for a change in job and those who are entirely dependent on the covered workers in their workplace. Despite certain laws that came into effect to extend the benefits of the employer-offered health insurance policy, there are some workers who still experience job lock. Did you know about the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986? If you haven’t read on the concerns of this article in order to know more on the COBRA.

Learning the basics of COBRA

When you become ineligible to receive the health insurance benefits of your employer, your employer will most probably stop paying the share of your health insurance premiums as they used to pay. However, it is only through a federal law that makes it possible for you to cling onto the same health insurance provided you’re ready to pay the premiums on time. Since 1986, the COBRA has enabled the retirees, former employees, spouses and dependent children to keep receiving the health insurance coverage benefits at the group insurance rates. When you were employed, it is most natural that you had to pay a small fraction of the total health insurance premium. You might have paid 10% and your employer paid the rest of the 90% of the premiums.

Who will qualify for the COBRA?

The foremost consideration that will decide whether or not you’re eligible for COBRA is the size of the employer. If you work with a very small company, you’re probably out of luck. The employer needs to be a government or a local government agency or even a private sector company for you to qualify for the COBRA. The employer should have a minimum of 20 employees. The second test is whether you were already enrolled in a company-sponsored health insurance plan on the day previous to the day on which the qualifying event took place. Qualifying events will comprise of the day you left your job involuntarily or voluntarily or you had your hours reduced. The last test that is taken is whether or not the employer still offers its employees with a health insurance plan. In case you lose your job as your employer ran out of business, you’re out of luck again. In such cases, you won’t be eligible for the COBRA protection.

The little-known benefits of COBRA extended protection

If you’re someone who has elected for COBRA continuation coverage, you can stick to same doctors as you’re being covered under the same health plan and the same in-network providers. You can even retain your coverage for all the pre-existing conditions. Although maintaining the health and medical insurance payments through COBRA might seem to be expensive, yet it will just seem as a bargain as compared to the huge amount of medical bills that you might have to pay during an event of prolonged sickness.

Therefore, when you’re wondering about the ways in which you can keep getting continued coverage, you can elect for the COBRA protection.