As an active COBRA participant, you have the right to make changes to your health plan elections during your former employer's annual open enrollment period. Use the below checklist to guide you in what benefit changes you may need to consider. Click on each link for a brief description of the items in the checklist.
sometimes called a health insurance plan and typically includes prescription drug coverage, although the prescription drug plan may be separate from medical coverage. There are many different types of medical plans, including Fee-for-service or Indemnity plans, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans, Point-of-Service (POS) plans, Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans, and Consumer Directed Health Plans (CDHP). These plans provide insurance coverage to reduce your out-of-pocket cost for medical care.
the most common types of dental insurance plans are the dental PPO and dental HMO. These plans provide insurance coverage to reduce your out-of-pocket cost for dental cleanings and other basic/major care (coverage is usually limited as these plans are not intended to pay all of your dental care expenses and do not pay for cosmetic procedures)
ancillary plan that works similarly to dental insurance plans. Provides insurance coverage to reduce your out-of-pocket cost for routine vision exams. Also provides limited coverage for lenses, contact lenses and eyeglass frames
often misunderstood and difficult to comprehend by some, a HCFSA is a tax-free account administered by your employer that allows you to pay for most out-of-pocket health care expenses (e.g., medical, dental, vision expenses) with tax-free dollars. For example, instead of paying your prescription drug copays with cash from your wallet, cash that has already been taxed, you can set aside an annual amount of funds in a tax-free HCFSA to pay these expenses. The benefit of using a HCFSA is that you can use tax free money to pay for health care expenses that you have to pay for anyway--why not pay them with tax free money and save a few bucks. You have to decide how much to place into your HCFSA prior to the start of the plan year--which means you have to estimate how much you will spend for the upcoming 12 months. If you do not spend all of the funds in the account by the end of the 12 months, you forfeit (lose) the remaining funds. The HCFSA administrator or your employer will provide you with a list of health care expenses that are eligible for reimbursement from your account, as well as other account rules
this is the annual period where employees/insurance program participants can make or change their benefit plan elections
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act is a federal law that allows former employees and/or their dependents to continue their health insurance coverage when loss of coverage is due to certain events, called qualifying events. Qualifying events include voluntary and involuntary termination of employment (except termination due to gross misconduct), reduction in employee work hours that would make them ineligible to participate in the employer's health plans, loss of dependent child status, divorce/legal separation, death of the employee. The COBRA participant must pay the full premium plus a two percent administrative fee. COBRA coverage lasts 18, 29 or 36 months (depending on the type of qualifying event)