The Department of Health and Human Services announced a 60-day special enrollment period (SEP) for anyone who has COBRA group health benefits continuation coverage. With this announcement, COBRA enrollees have until July1, 2014, to change to an Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant plan.
To take advantage of this SEP, COBRA enrollees have until July 1, 2014, to apply for an on-exchange plan or for an Anthem plan.
Under COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), people who lose their jobs may buy the coverage they previously had through their employer, but they have to pay the full cost for each month during the 18-month continuation period. Previously, once you opted for COBRA coverage the only time to change your plan from COBRA to an ACA compliant plan was during the Open Enrollment Period (October 15-December 7) or at the end of the 18-month continuation.
However, with the HHS announcement, individuals who opted for COBRA coverage (18-month extension of group health plan benefits) can now enroll or swap into a more affordable ACA-compliant plan without waiting until Open Enrollment (October 15-December 7) or at the end of the 18-month period.
Ultimately, this means savings for individuals currently enrolled in COBRA. COBRA coverage is generally more costly than ACA plans since COBRA requires individual enrollees pay the entire cost of the group health plan previously held by the individual. In many cases, and especially when individuals qualify for subsidies, people can get more affordable coverage through the ACA. To reap these savings individuals need to take advantage of this new 60-day window and move from COBRA coverage to an ACA plan.
Please note: the Health and Human Services made this Special Enrollment Period only available to current COBRA enrollees and made the period only open for a 60 day window, or until July 1, 2014.
Please contact us today if you are on COBRA and would like to save substantially on your monthly health insurance premium-we can help you make the move from COBRA to an ACA plan. Be sure to reach out before the deadline- JULY 1st, 2014.
Steinlage Insurance Agency