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COBRA in between jobs

COBRA in between jobs

Old Dec 4th 2015, 4:01 pm
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Default COBRA in between jobs

So I'm in a new job and of course the new healthcare doesn't kick in until 90 days. So I've searched back through the old threads and it looks like I can elect the COBRA option from my old employer (that covers myself and spouse) but not actually pay anything unless I need the cover and then it kicks in back to the day I lost cover from the old employer? Is that correct? Don't want to be caught out without cover in this 90 day period.
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Old Dec 4th 2015, 4:08 pm
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Default Re: COBRA in between jobs

Originally Posted by Sheepdip View Post
So I'm in a new job and of course the new healthcare doesn't kick in until 90 days. So I've searched back through the old threads and it looks like I can elect the COBRA option from my old employer (that covers myself and spouse) but not actually pay anything unless I need the cover and then it kicks in back to the day I lost cover from the old employer? Is that correct? Don't want to be caught out without cover in this 90 day period.
Almost. The limit is 60 days on activating COBRA from your previous job's termination date. I have done what you are suggesting several times and in the end never needed to activate my COBRA coverage. In your case you are going to have a problematic 30 day window.
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Old Dec 4th 2015, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: COBRA in between jobs

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
Almost. The limit is 60 days on activating COBRA from your previous job's termination date. I have done what you are suggesting several times and in the end never needed to activate my COBRA coverage. In your case you are going to have a problematic 30 day window.
But if I elect coverage within the 60 day window and just don't pay the invoice, wouldn't that be the same? The documents say "You are not required to make a payment with your COBRA election, but coverage may not be reinstated until a timely payment is made".
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Old Dec 4th 2015, 5:26 pm
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Default Re: COBRA in between jobs

OCare fine issue?
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Old Dec 4th 2015, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: COBRA in between jobs

When I was late paying an invoice for my COBRA dental insurance they cancelled it incredibly quickly and there was no way to re-instate it. It's not a risk I'd take in your position.
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Old Dec 4th 2015, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: COBRA in between jobs

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
OCare fine issue?
A couple of months is likely to be covered under the short gap exemption. Also Cobra coverage is sufficient to avoid the fine.

https://www.healthcare.gov/exemption...ails/short-gap
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Old Dec 4th 2015, 7:05 pm
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Default Re: COBRA in between jobs

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
A couple of months is likely to be covered under the short gap exemption. Also Cobra coverage is sufficient to avoid the fine.

https://www.healthcare.gov/exemption...ails/short-gap
90 days would be too long, though, as the exemption is only 2 months. And you can't do (non-paying) COBRA for the first 60 days and then an ACA policy for the next 30, as letting the COBRA lapse* would count as voluntarily leaving coverage, and exclude you from the Healthcare marketplace until the next open enrollment.

(Arguably you'd have never had it at all - I can't recall how the question is worded on the tax return, but have vague memories of 'did you have continuous healthcare coverage throughout 201x', which would probably have to answered as 'no' because you don't have coverage under an insurance if you don't pay the premiums.)

90 days as a window is really unfair and problematic! There's probably no simpler solution than 3 months of ACA coverage at whatever the cheapest rate is, and finger crossing.
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Old Dec 4th 2015, 7:19 pm
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Default Re: COBRA in between jobs

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
90 days would be too long, though, as the exemption is only 2 months.
Depends when he changed jobs. Also it is December so the new tax year starts soon. Half the time in 2015 and half in 2016, he'll be fine.
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Old Dec 4th 2015, 7:21 pm
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Default Re: COBRA in between jobs

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
Depends when he changed jobs. Also it is December so the new tax year starts soon. Half the time in 2015 and half in 2016, he'll be fine.
My 'loss of coverage' was 10/31
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Old Dec 4th 2015, 7:28 pm
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Default Re: COBRA in between jobs

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
90 days as a window is really unfair and problematic! There's probably no simpler solution than 3 months of ACA coverage at whatever the cheapest rate is, and finger crossing.
I agree. In fact, pre-ACA some companies had longer waiting periods than that. The ACA puts a limit of 90 days on it.
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Old Dec 4th 2015, 7:30 pm
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Default Re: COBRA in between jobs

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
Depends when he changed jobs. Also it is December so the new tax year starts soon. Half the time in 2015 and half in 2016, he'll be fine.
According to this, that straddled time will get pushed into accounting for the subsequent tax year:

ACA Treatment of Coverage Gaps | Obamacare Fine Calculator
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Old Dec 4th 2015, 8:26 pm
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Default Re: COBRA in between jobs

Originally Posted by Sheepdip View Post
My 'loss of coverage' was 10/31
Well, that's neat and easy. Use the 'sign up if you need it' COBRA for Nov and Dec; meanwhile, take out a 2016 ACA policy during the current open enrollment to start in Jan 2016. Cancel this after the first month when your work cover kicks in for 1 Feb (if that's the 90 days..? Otherwise keep it for Feb too).

Note that the Marketplace requires a minimum 14 day notice to cancel a policy; they can't just do it on the spot. I don't know if any refund would be due for part-months, as I cancelled mine to finish 14 days later on something like the 28th August, and couldn't be bothered to try and find out if I was due a rebate for those few days.
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