Medicare is designed to be flexible and to allow you to have the best healthcare coverage for you. This means that you can have COBRA and Medicare coverage at the same time. However, this is only true if you were already eligible for Medicare before you started COBRA. There are a few things to know about having COBRA and Medicare. Read on to learn more about Medicare and COBRA.
Overview of COBRA
COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. It is a federal law passed in 1985 that allows workers and their families to keep their health benefits for a certain period of time after a job loss or change in coverage. The exact details differ depending on the state. In general, you are eligible for COBRA if your employer has 20 or more employees and is generally offered for 18 months. COBRA covers you if you quit or are fired if your hours are reduced and you become a part-time employee, you transition between jobs, your family member who was covered passes away, you divorce the covered spouse or other major life events. Generally, people are required to pay the entire premium up to 102% of the cost of the plan.
Eligibility for COBRA + Medicare
You can have both COBRA and Medicare, but there are two major things to know. If your Medicare Part A or B benefits become effective on or before the day you start COBRA coverage, you can still continue having both. In that case, Medicare is the primary payer and COBRA is secondary. If you become eligible for Medicare after you sign up for COBRA, your COBRA benefits will stop. However, if COBRA covers your spouse or dependents, they will still be covered for up to 36 months. Additionally, you may be able to keep COBRA for benefits that Medicare does not cover. For example, if you have COBRA dental, you may continue to keep your COBRA dental since Medicare does not offer dental coverage.
COBRA vs Medicare
There are pros and cons to having COBRA over Medicare. COBRA is generally more expensive than Medicare. It is sometimes less flexible and only lasts 18 months, although it can last up to 36 months in certain situations. The pros are that COBRA allows you to keep the same coverage as you had with your employer, meaning you do not have to immediately switch doctors or health systems. It also covers your spouse and dependents. It also offers additional services that Medicare does not cover, like dental coverage.
Everyone has different priorities and needs. To understand your benefits under COBRA and Medicare in more detail, contact us at Bobby Brock Insurance today.