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COBRA Insurance in Florida:

What are your options?

State Insurance Department Information:

Florida insurance department documents and articles of interest:

 

Cobra Insurance in Florida:

The Federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows retiring employees, or those who lose coverage due to quitting a job or reduced work hours, to continue group coverage for a limited period of time. This also applies to their dependents who lose coverage because of divorce or legal separation; death of the covered employee; the covered employee qualifying for Medicare; or a loss of dependent status under the health plan’s provisions. COBRA applies only to employers with 20 or more employees.


If you qualify for COBRA benefits, your health-plan administrator must give you a notice stating your right to choose to continue benefits provided by the plan. You then have 60 days to accept coverage or lose all rights to the benefits. Once you select COBRA coverage, you may have to pay 100 percent of the total insurance cost, plus a two percent processing fee.

 

Mini-COBRA

 

Florida Mini-COBRA law provides similar continuation of coverage protection for employees who work for employers with fewer than 20 employees.

 

Note: Under Florida’s mini-COBRA law, the employee must notify the insurer within 30 days of losing group eligibility, that he or she is eligible to continue coverage.

 

Qualifying as COBRA and Mini-COBRA

 

Continuation of coverage runs from a minimum of 18 months to a maximum of 36 months, depending upon the individual situation. The coverage may continue an additional 11 months for an insured’s disability that occurs during a qualifying event such as termination (except for gross misconduct) or a reduction in work hours for the employee; however, it cannot exceed the limit of 36 months. Other qualifying events may include:

 

a beneficiary loses coverage due to the employee’s death;

a divorce or legal separation of the employee and a spouse;

the employee’s qualification for Medicare; and a dependent child’s loss of status under the health plan’s provisions.

 

In addition, Florida law gives you the option of converting your policy to an individual plan if you leave the group. If you terminate employment, get divorced, or reach age 25 and no longer qualify under a parent’s group plan, you may convert your group policy to an individual policy. A conversion policy usually costs more than a group policy. It may provide fewer benefits, but you don’t need a physical exam to qualify for Coverage

 

If you work for an employer that has over 20 full-time employees:  Then federal COBRA law applies, go to COBRA summary

 

If you work for an employer that has under 20 full-time employees: The Florida Health Insurance Coverage Continuation Act requires insurance companies to offer an 18-month continuation for groups of 2-19.  However, the employee must request the extension within 30 days of termination. 

 

What are your options?

  1. Contact your previous employer and ask him/her to give you your COBRA papers so that you may see how much it is to continue your health insurance through the group plan.

  2. Shop for temporary health insurance: if you do not have preexisting conditions and need temporary coverage for 1-6 months then temporary health insurance is a great solution and you will find that it is extremely affordable.

  3. If you have preexisting conditions or pregnant you should try to get on another group plan (or pay for COBRA) as quick as you can or contact your local insurance state department to see what they have available for you.  Many states have a guaranteed issue health insurance plan for individuals who cannot secure coverage through a private health insurer.  Check out our Uninsurable State Risk Pools Resource page.

Florida State Insurance Department Contact Information:

 

CONSUMER HELPLINE : 1-800-342-2762

Florida Department of Financial Services · 200 East Gaines Street · Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0300

 

Florida COBRA links:

  

 

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