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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.

SEP for COBRA Enrollees?

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Question: I got on COBRA when I lost my job last month because my former employer pushed me to do it. I didn’t look into Obamacare because I thought it was over. Can I still switch to a Covered California plan?

Answer: Probably, but not for sure yet. The Department of Health and Human Services is concerned that people newly-eligible for COBRA, as well as COBRA beneficiaries, may have had insufficient information to understand they only can enroll in the exchange during an open enrollment period, when initially eligible for COBRA or when COBRA coverage expires. So HHS is providing an additional special enrollment period based on exceptional circumstances so that persons eligible for COBRA and COBRA beneficiaries are able to select QHPs in the exchange. Affected individuals have through July 1, 2014, to select QHPs in the exchange. This is for federal exchanges. At this point, Covered California has not decided whether they will follow the recent CMS regs. Reference: http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/SEP-and-hardship-FAQ-5-1-2014.pdf


Thanks Phil.
I’ve now read the document.

Thanks too, to Steve for posting it.


Michael, Yes,of course. Loss of group coverage is the Qualifying Event. Did I misstate it? If so, it was inadvertent.

Thanks Phil, useful info.

Is not a newly eligible COBRA enrollee eligible to enroll anytime during the year? They are newly COBRA eligible per loss of their group coverage (per loss of employment or full-time employment status), which is a Qualifying Event to enroll in an individual plan should this QE occur at any time of the year.

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