COBRA and Medicare: Everything You Need to Know

Jun 15, 2023

When it comes to healthcare insurance, understanding your options is essential. Two important programs that provide coverage to different segments of the population are COBRA and Medicare. If you’re considering or transitioning to Medicare, it’s crucial to understand how these two programs interact.

In this blog, we will discuss the main features of COBRA and Medicare, their key differences, and important considerations for individuals navigating these programs.

What is COBRA?

A person handing a dollar in exchange for healthcare

COBRA, which stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, is a federal law that allows individuals to continue their employer-sponsored health insurance coverage for a limited period after leaving a job. It applies to employers with 20 or more employees and provides temporary coverage to eligible individuals and their dependents.

Key Features of COBRA:

Here are a few important features of COBRA that summarise its effect in terms of healthcare coverage:

  1. COBRA provides coverage for a limited period, typically up to 18 months, but can be extended under certain circumstances such as disability or other qualifying events.
  2. COBRA allows the continuation of the healthcare coverage provided by your client; however, you will be responsible for paying the full premium, including the portion previously paid by your employer.
  3. To be eligible for COBRA, you must have been covered under an employer-sponsored plan and experienced a qualifying event such as reduced work hours, a lost job, a divorce, or the death of the person being covered.

What is Medicare?

Medicare is predominantly a federal health insurance program designed for individuals 65 years or older, and it also covers specific younger individuals with disabilities or those diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. Unlike COBRA, it is easier to be considered eligible for Medicare.

COBRA and Medicare Interaction

If you are eligible for both COBRA and Medicare, here are a few things you need to know:

  1. If you’re eligible for COBRA and approaching Medicare eligibility, COBRA can serve as a bridge coverage until you enroll in Medicare. It can provide temporary coverage to ensure continuous health insurance during the transition period.
  2. Once you enroll in Medicare, it becomes your primary coverage,and COBRA becomes secondary. It’s essential to inform both your COBRA administrator and Medicare of your dual coverage to ensure proper coordination and billing.

Final Thoughts

Both Medicare and COBRA are provided by the government to ensure healthcare coverage in different circumstances in your life. If you are eligible for both COBRA and Medicare, it is important to get expert advice from Medicare agents to learn about the best course of action.

The Modern Medicare Agency provides a team of licensed medicare insurance agent in New York that will guide you on all aspects of Medicare and COBRA. Whether you have questions about supplement plans, advantage plans, or eligibility for COBRA, these agents will answer all your queries. Contact them now to learn more about the intricacies of these insurance services.