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OEBB COBRA FAQs

Am I entitled to yearly open enrollments?

Yes, COBRA participants have the same rights as all active employees while they are enrolled in COBRA continuation coverage.

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Can I add benefits or dependents at Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment on COBRA is the same as Open Enrollment for your active group insurance. This means that you will have the ability to add, change or delete benefits or dependents per the plan guidelines during the Open Enrollment period. Be aware, that waiting periods may occur when adding benefits.

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How long am I entitled to stay on COBRA if I become disabled and at what point do I notify BenefitHelp Solutions?

If you, or a dependent who is a qualified beneficiary, is determined by Social Security to have been disabled at any time during the first 60 days of COBRA coverage, you and your dependents will be eligible to extend coverage for 11 months. The law specifies that you must provide a copy of the disability determination before the end of the original 18-month period that applies to the qualifying event.

The COBRA premiums during an 11-month disability extension are increased to 150% of the regular premium rate.

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When I send in my COBRA enrollment form, am I required to send in the first month's premium?

No. You have 45 days, from the date of election, to make your first premium payment. However, your insurance carrier may not update your eligibility until full payment has been received through the current month.

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If I have other Health Insurance do I still qualify for COBRA continuation?

If you had other group coverage before electing COBRA you have the right to continue both coverages.

Once you elect COBRA coverage and then obtain other insurance your COBRA coverage will terminate on the effective date of your new coverage unless your new coverage has a waiting period for a pre-existing condition.

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Can I add my newborn to my COBRA coverage? How long do I have to notify BenefitHelp Solutions?

Yes. You must notify BenefitHelp Solutions within 60 days of the date of birth.

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What happens if I move out of the service area of my HMO?

If your former employer offers an insurance option other than HMO, you are eligible to switch to the other plan due to your move.

If your former employer offers only an HMO to active employees and you now reside outside the HMO service area, you may still sign up for the HMO plan, even if it is of limited value.

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Is there a grace period for monthly premium payments?

Yes, you have a 30 day grace period to pay your COBRA premiums, but your insurance carrier may suspend claims payments if your premium is not paid by the first of the month.

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What happens to my COBRA coverage if I become Medicare eligible?

Your COBRA insurance will terminate on the first day of the month you become entitled to Medicare. If you become entitled to Medicare prior to turning 65 years old, you must notify BenefitHelp Solutions as soon as possible in order to insure timely transition to your other coverage options and correct payment to your providers.

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If I become Medicare eligible during my 18 months of COBRA coverage, can my dependents still continue on COBRA coverage?

Yes, if your dependents are qualified beneficiaries their COBRA coverage may be extended. The length of continued COBRA coverage is determined by the individual circumstances.

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