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Covered California Q&A

Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Can I Stay on COBRA?

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Question: I enrolled in COBRA when I was laid off from my previous employer in September, 2013. I have received a letter from the insurer stating that my policy will not be available after December 31 as it does not meet new federal requirements for 2014. Employees will be offered a choice of new plans to chose from for 2014. Will I be able to chose from one of these plans as a prior employee with COBRA coverage until my 18 months of COBRA coverage expires? The current premium with COBRA coverage is less than any of the quotes I have received from the current market exchange offerings.

Answer: Yes you can stay on COBRA if you prefer, but you will have to reevaluate your decision once you see the premium for the new ACA compliant group plan you are offered. The rate will probably be higher than the non-compliant plan.

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You may also terminate your COBRA continuation and enroll in an individual plan through Covered CA if you are eligible for tax credits, or with any private insurer off the exchange. As of January 1, 2014, COBRA beneficiaries are no longer required to exhaust their continuation period first.

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