COBRA Frequently Asked Questions
What coverage is available?
Medical, dental, vision coverage and life insurance conversion are available under this program. You will be offered the plans and coverage level that you have in place upon separation of employment.
What’s the difference between COBRA and my insurance as a current employee?
COBRA participants pay 102% of the combined employer’s and employee’s premium for their insurance. The coverage is exactly the same as what you had while you were employed with the state.
How do I sign up?
You will receive a COBRA offer upon separation of employment. The offer will include applications and carrier contact information for your eligible plans. The applications need to go directly to each carrier. The carriers will then begin billing you monthly.
What is the deadline for enrolling in continuation coverage under COBRA?
You have 60 days from either the date of notification or the benefits termination date, whichever is later.
How long can I continue coverage?
18-month eligibility: You may choose continuation coverage for yourself and your eligible dependents for up to 18 months if:
- Your employment is terminated, including retirement, or
- Your work hours are reduced, resulting in a loss of coverage.
- Your dependent(s) may be eligible for an extension (up to 36 months from the original COBRA effective date) if a second qualifying event (death, divorce, etc.) occurs during the initial 18-month period.
Extension: You or your eligible dependents may choose to extend the continuation coverage period for an additional 11 months for a total of 29 months if:
- Social security determines you or your qualified dependent is disabled; and,
- you notify the carrier within 60 days of the determination date; and,
- if Social Security determines you or your qualified dependent were disabled at the time of the qualifying event; or,
- anytime during the first 60 days of COBRA continuation.
36-month eligibility: Your spouse and eligible dependents may choose continuation of coverage for up to 36 months following:
- Your death.
- Divorce (you must provide notification).
- Your eligibility for Medicare while maintaining the COBRA continuation coverage.
- Ceasing to be an eligible dependent child.
Coverage may be discontinued prior to the maximum periods in the following circumstances:
- Premiums are not paid timely.
- You, your spouse or your dependents become covered under another group health plan including Medicare (unless the group health plan contains an exclusion or limitation with respect to any pre-existing condition.).
- The spouse of the deceased former employee remarries or becomes covered under another group health plan.
- You cease to be disabled. You must notify the carrier within 30 days of Social Security’s determination that the disability no longer exists. Coverage will terminate 30 days after the Social Security determination date.
When can I change my plan or coverage level?
You may reduce coverage level at the time of application. After that, you may change plans and coverage level during Open Enrollment. You may also change coverage level if you experience a qualifying event.
What happens during Open Enrollment?
Each year, prior to Open Enrollment, you will receive a communication to inform you of the plans being offered for the new plan year. Because Open Enrollment changes are submitted to the carriers, we also include plan rates and carrier contact information. It is important that the carriers have current contact information for billing and communications. Note: you have to sign the Non-Tobacco Use Agreement each year in order to receive the reduction in your premium for the next plan year. If you do not wish to sign the Non-Tobacco Use Agreement or make any changes to your current plans, you do not need to submit Open Enrollment elections to the carriers.
What if I move within Indiana or to another state?
If you move, you will need to update your address and phone number with the carriers so that they have updated information for billing and communications. You will need to contact the carriers directly as they maintain enrollment once you leave state employment.
Will there be a lapse in my coverage?
No. Your COBRA coverage will begin the day your coverage as an employee ends.
What about my HSA?
While the state does not contribute to HSAs for COBRA participants, the money in your HSA is yours to keep for eligible expenses. You may continue to contribute to an HSA post-tax if you participate in a CDHP.