It is required by federal law that group health care plans give people an opportunity to continue corporate health insurance after a layoff. This is fantastic news because this is the easiest way to find and continue your health insurance plan in the unfortunate situation where you have been laid off. This particular scenario is enforced under a special provision called COBRA, which stands for Continuation Coverage Election. You should research this special bit of law if you are currently in need of healthcare. You will only have about 2 months to act on the opportunity to continue your health coverage, so please read the steps below in order to do successfully do so.
If you have recently been laid off, be sure to check with your former employer about COBRA services and the continuation of your previous corporate health insurance after layoff. If your former employer gives you a hard time, mention that this is federal law. You should ask for an explanation if they do not offer such a service. Read the plan in detail and perform a health insurance comparison to make sure you are not losing significant priviledges.
You will be mailed an official COBRA Continuation Coverage Election Notice along with your final documents. You will need to sign these documents to find health insurance after your layoff. If these documents have not been provided to you, again bring this to the attention of your prior employer and ask them about it. The documents will explain the health care plan you currently follow, and breakdown the costs of how much it will cost you per month to continue your existing service. You should recognize that while the prices may appear absurdly high to you, this is the price that your employer was paying for your health insurance while you were employed. Health insurance is very important and you do not want to be caught in the difficult emergency situation in the event that an unforeseen accident occurs.
Review the forms that are sent to you, including your Certificate of Credible Coverage. You need to make sure all the information including your name, address and phone number are correct. If any of these documents are incorrect, mark any changes on the form that you will have to send in.
You can then send in the enclosed form to the address provided on the documents. Do not worry about signing any legally binding contracts. You will not need to pay anything yet at this point. Another option is to register online at the website that is mentioned on your forms.
Typically you will receive a notice in the mail after a week or two, explaining the circumstances and terms of your health insurance plan after layoff, which you can now continue. You will then have to make your first month's payment, and the subsequent payments each month thereafter to continue your major medical insurance coverage.
You can cancel this coverage under the COBRA services and find another health insurance provider at any time. The main reason why you should do this is because you have found your next job or another alternative health care plan.