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When do I need to sign up for COBRA? sm

Posted By: Anon on 2007-07-28
In Reply to:

I turned in my notice on 6/28 and quit two weeks later.  I have received my last paycheck, reimbursement for PTO, a letter saying someone will be calling for an exit survey, and even my shipping labels to return my computer, etc. but have yet to receive any information about COBRA and I want to sign up!  It is now almost the end of the month and I'm worried that I have to get my money in by the first of the month.  Does anyone know?  I don't want to get stuck with a pre-existing condition problem.


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Shop around before getting cobra. If you are leaving a job, you can get cobra. I am in the process
Cobra is almost $600 for you and children, I found a month to month coverage by shopping on internet, covers 2 visits a year (I only need it 3 months) and is less than $300. Less expensive coverage than cobra is out there
No, the employer doesn't pay COBRA, you pay COBRA directly.
Can you use a plus sign for hyper and minus sign for hypo?
That is true, when you sign up you sign up from the
day your former insurance terminated. Then it is on a month to month basis.
Anyone been on COBRA
I am trying to figure out how expensive COBRA is.  If anyone has been on COBRA, would you give me an idea of what it cost you?  I am trying to find an average cost here. My job has been terminated as of 08/31/07, due to outsourcing in-house transcription to a service.  I need to make many decisions on a very short timeframe.  Any info would be greatly appreciated.

My husband and I are on cobra right now.  For two of us with dental it's costing us $821 per month thru Aetna.

Once you have insurance, you should be able to get COBRA.  The length of time should no matter.
I had to use COBRA for my daughter a few years ago when my husband died. It's my understanding that you have until 45 days after regular insurance terminates to decide to take COBRA. In her case, anything within that 45 days ws covered by the regular insurance. I was also able to take the COBRA on a month by month basis, not have to pay in advance. I suppose plans may be different, but it ws my understanding COBRA has standards under the insurance act. You might have to speak to the plan administrator to find out for sure. Good luck!
I do believe you have to pay it through the date you actually sign up, so that would mean you could drop it in February.  Here is something to consider - if you cannot afford the COBRA payments and your ER bill is quite substantial, the hospital collections office will sometimes pay the COBRA for you and then bill you for the premiums paid.  I used to work in collections and we often did this when we could see we would benefit by doing so.  We could sometimes pay $700 in COBRA premiums, but collect $7000; therefore, even if we never collected from the patient on the $700, we still came out ahead. 
Actually, that's correct.  COBRA does not legally apply if there are less than 19 people.  I am not sure what state you are in, but in IL they have a state mandate that picks up for smaller companies, but the coverage time isn't as long as COBRA. 
Have you tried Alli? The reason I ask is because I just started taking it myself. I did contact my doctor's office before taking it though, as I am Wellbutrin and Effexor, as well as Evista, Advair, albuterol, and take Tylenol ES quite often. She said that even with all these meds, it is safe. I have not experienced any adverse reactions to the Alli as far as my other meds go.

However, you need to really read up on the Alli program, including the side effects that some people have experienced.

Maybe it's worth a shot!!
That's exactly right. TAKE THE COBRA, even though the $$ is high.

At age 64, I have had to take COBRA, it's $926 a MONTH
I took a job with a medium-sized MTSO last year in September, qualified with 90 days above their set quota to get benefits, my share was about $75 biweekly. Then my work type dried up, they tried to force me to do clinic which I would not do. No one will cover a 64 year old woman because you better believe everybody has something pre-existing by the time they get into their 60's. I have to keep the policy through the COBRA until July next year when I'll be 65 and get Medicare. I never wanted to be 65 so much in my life! I have had to work 7 days a week on production to make enough money to meet my mortgage, regular household bills, and now this $926 COBRA. I'm lucky I found a service that will let me work my fingers to the bone. I've been paying this amount since April, please say a little prayer for me, I'm 5 months into this, I have 10 months more to go. Then I can cut back to 5 days a week, it's going to feel really good when that happens and I can do my errands and cleaning one day a week and have one real "day off" a week. I think my COBRA is so high because it is a really good BC/BS policy, and the actual cost of the coverage is horrific. Whatever you do don't let your coverage lapse. You actually will have almost 2 months to get the first payment to them, but if you are 1 cent short or 1 day late, you are out of luck. P.S. This treatment was the company that brags "you'll be proud to tell your friends about us." Don't ever believe what a recruiter tells you about the work type you'll be doing or the amount of work they have for you to do. Good luck to all the Old-Timers out there, we're all going to need all the luck we can get. Prayers would be even better.

Another Cobra inquiry
Does anyone know how long you have to be on the insurance to qualify for cobra. I did have a lapse in my prior coverage but have no pre-existing conditions so wasn't worried. Have now had the insurance at my employment about 30 days but am thinking about leaving, does anyone know if I will be eligible for Cobra?
Cobra question
I know this was recently discussed here but for some reason I cannot locate it.  I have been at my job a little over 4 months, have had 2 insurance payments taken out of my check.  I am really thinking seriously about leaving - does anyone know if I will be eligible for Cobra or do you have to have the insurance for a minimum amount of time.  TYIA.
Check out the COBRA
I'm so sorry to hear about your friend losing her job. Please tell her to check out the COBRA rulings on insurance policies. You normally have a 30-day window after termination ...so if she can get her surgeries in before that 30 days is up...the insurance should pay.
Can I do just 1 month of COBRA? sm
I'm wondering if I can sign up for just 1 month of COBRA health insurance after the fact. I'm nearing my COBRA election cut off. My last day of regular insurance was 10/31. I would just like to pay for COBRA for the month of November, but the paperwork says you must pay all months up to the day of election. I had an ER visit in November, which is why I only want to pay November, but if I made the COBRA election today, I'd have to make 3 months of payments. Has anyone ever done this? I thought maybe I could just send in a payment for the 1 month with a note that I didn't want it after that. TIA. I know I should probably ask the plan administrator, but I'm embarassed.

I have been covered by COBRA since September 2007 with dental coverage.  I just received my new card today and I do not have dental, and my last dental appointment and treatment are not being paid.  Can they do this?  Drop coverage that I already have.  To top it off they are charging me $20.00 more a month. 

My husband is covered under AARP; however, I cannot get on his insurance even though I will be 50 in one month due to being overweight.  They say I have to lose at least 70 pounds. 

Does anyone know of an insurance company that would insure me for less than what I am paying COBRA?


Thanks for your response. If I opt out of the cobra coverage,
does my current coverage stop immediately (last employment day), at the end of the current pay period, or at the end of the final pay period? Thanks!
Cobra takes precedence

Divorce is considered a "qualifying event" and would entitle you to 18 months (or 36 months in certain cases) of coverage through COBRA where you would pay the premium.  You can make an inquiry to the human resources department at his employer if there are children involved and the rate is the same for him to cover himself, the kids and you, and in that event, you would continue to have coverage without invoking COBRA.  The best thing is to read the policy and direct any questions to HR.

good luck

COBRA is not a specific insurance sm
policy. It is simply a continuation of what you already had with your employer, except you pay all the costs. That is what you need to find out, how much the full coverage will cost you without an employer contribution.

COBRA is simply an extension of your sm
prior insurance, and you pick up whatever the company was paying, and pay all costs. COBRA extends you current insurance when you lose your job, but YOU pay all of the charges, same insurance, though.
Again, COBRA is not insurance, just an extension of sm
any insurance you currently have. So while COBRA may be cheaper that whatever, it is exactly what you have had with an employer, just YOU have to pay for it.

I cannot understand why people think COBRA is a specific insurance policy. IT IS NOT. It is a government policy that allows you to still maintain you current insurance, with you paying for it, for a certain amount of time.

Completed COBRA recently-VLM

   The following speaks of my personal experience with Cobra - Insurance premiums out-of-pocket for any reason are an expensive undertaking (they are also tax deductible if you meet deduction requirements).  I was appreciative of having the option of Cobra because of my personal circumstances.  If you are considering going without health insurance for any amount of time, I would suggest that you may be gambling with more than your health.  One emergency surgery or health crisis not covered can cost you everything - I know because it happened to me.  Hospitals and physicians are bound by no debt code - they will sue you and take your home, business, car, pots, pans and the shirt off your back if they can redeem a penny for it.  They are not required to accept a payment plan.  My hospital told me that an indefinite payment offered by me to start of $100 every 2 weeks to start was not worth their time and effort.  A bit of trivia - I was employed by this same hospital for 10+ years.

COBRA guidelines are set by the Fed - all rules must be followed to the letter by all parties.  My premium was 120% of what my original premium while employed with the company was.  I went the entire 18 months during which my premium was raised once - without warning - if you fail to pay the premium exact to the penny, by the exact postmarked indicated date, you are terminated from the plan.  I was nearly terminated with the premium increase which arrived in a separate envelope along with the premium notice.  There are no exceptions to the rules governing Cobra - this works sometimes in your favor and sometimes in the ex-employer's favor.   After the first premium increase, I called 1 time each month on the same day and asked if there was a premium increase -  the point being don't take anything at face value when dealing with this issue.

        These guidelines also direct what happens when your Cobra involvement ends or if you terminate it before the 18 months are finished - there are also exclusions which may make the amount of Cobra coverage available longer than 18 months.  The day your Cobra ends, you have a set number of days to get involved with another plan - if you choose Cobra, make sure someone explains what happens when the plan ends, and if you are told "nothing" or "you are on your own," ask someone else who knows that they are talking about.

      If you choose Cobra, you need to speak to whomever administers the plan - some companies hire a third party, others do not.  Make sure you get all the facts.  

      There are obvious negatives but one thing is an absolute positive, if you meet all the guidelines each month and pay the correct premium on time, you will have continuation of your health coverage and time to plan for the future.  My research led me to understand that I might find a cheaper interim plan, but I might just as easily lose that plan for any number of reasons, leaving me high and dry.  I personally could not risk this.  I saw an earlier comment about not letting coverage lapse and preexisting conditions - If there is a plan anywhere which does not have a preexisting clause of some type for every new enrollee, I would be very surprised.  I talked to about 14 carriers over 6 months.  Not having a lapse in coverage or not exceeding the cushion of days provided by Cobra between policies is most beneficial, I feel, when you are applying for new coverage on your own - Companies are much more receptive to someone who has existing coverage as opposed to someone without, for obvious reasons.  However, this varies from ins co to ins so and you need to do your homework.

    One last thing, I cannot speak for every state, but I called our State Insurance Commish - wonderful lady whose staff went way out of the way to make sure I was fully clear on what my Cobra rights were. These people were totally on my side! I highly recommend this phone call to anyone trying to get health insurance.  The state is not allowed to recommend an insurance co; however, they do have ratings and data that you may find very helpful in choosing coverage.

I spent many, many hours learning about and personally experiencing this process - I hope you find something helpful here.  Whatever happens, I wish you the best of luck! 

Again, call Cobra. Google for #. You are not the
The majority of them will be cheaper than Cobra.
Go through your local yellow pages and look for insurance companies who advertise health insurance and start calling.  Call several so you can compare rates.  Your weight issues are going to make your premium higher than it would if you were a normal weight. 
When, OH when are you baby whiners gonna grow up!!! AARP is a bandaid, COBRA is a bandaid and when the whole HIPPA thing came into play the docs had a FIT!!!

Now, younguns you are seeing as "PATIENTS" what is going on -- have HUBBY WORK OR GET WELFARE

BTW -- workin ONE job and grossed 50K
You can get it by COBRA, that is what they told me, couldn't afford it. nm
on COBRA at YOUR expense..that wasn't the question.
Yet another COBRA/future insurance question

I'm reading a new plan that my company is probably going to switch to.  I just hired on and was going to sign up for COBRA so I wouldn't have a lapse in coverage for my pre-existing conditions etc.  Here is what this new plan says "This exclusion period may be reduced by the number of days of your prior creditable coverage.  The plan is not required to take into account any days of creditable coverage that precede a break in coverage of 63 days or more." 

So, can you please interpret what this is telling me?  If I get insurance from my new company prior to 63 days after the end of my previous insurance are my pre-existing conditions covered?  I was on insurance from the previous company for close to two years.


I dont think you have a set time to have had the insurance before your eligible for COBRA
My advice is to apply right now with your local Blue Cross or Blue Shield and get one of those major medical plans ($5000+ deductible) to kick in the second to quit and your other insurance ends. Keep it until you get new insurance with an employer and you wont have a gap in coverage, thus avoid pre-existing waiting periods etc..Getting one of those cheap plans is a A LOT cheaper than COBRA..COBRA's whole thing is trying to discourage you from keeping it..It worked for me. They wanted like $600 a month for me to go on it. No way.. I went to a BC plan and paid $100 a month for a high deductible plan. It's just my opinion, others may feel differently.
jude is right. Cobra may not be cheap, but it's cheaper than the surgery.
Good point. I've never done the Cobra because it was outrageous. I also did what you call a "b
overlapsed. I liked a cheap individual policy up ($7500 deducticle) before I lost my coverage..and kept the cheap policy until the new kicked in..
Compared the price offered by Cobra with a local BC or Regence Blue Shield plan. Chances are..
If you have a lot of medical issues your preminum wont be pretty but if it's temporary go with an extremely high deductible if you can. I have one that is $7500 deductible but has a $25 office visit copay and prescription coverage so it helps me since I just go to the doctor. Now, if you needed surgery or something that would be different.
With a $ sign, yes it is...without, it...
is only 7-1/4 100ths.  Decimals.  Get it?????  The whole number without the decimal isn't dollars and cents.  It's just a number.
She has no sign that says that but obviously you do.
She has worked in nothing but the best behavior. She kept her chin up and kept morale up while she was working way too many hours with way too little time off.

I dont know where you come off saying that other than thinking that you must have that sign on YOUR back. Don't transfer your stuff to someone else. Have a nice night.
Well it's just the way I am. I sign my name to almost SM

everything I post. I'll admit I've gone anonymous a few times, but it is rare. I'm just not going to do it. I stand behind anything I say - if it's wrong, then I made a mistake, I wasn't trying to hornswoggle anybody.

It is easy to see the culprit behind these MTs who can't make any money. You hear people talking about "platforms" and searching for demographics, etc. That's the problem.

I work for somebody for whom I am a source of income, not a cost center. The faster I am, the more we both make.

I do use my Expanders - a lot - and I've used the same shortcuts for years. But the main thing is that I work in Word without worrying about how some unit secretary is going to pull up the report I just typed. The company I work for isn't there to make sure the consultant on 4E can see the work quickly without shuffling papers. They're there to produce a fast and accurate medical record - period.

That other stuff is for the hospital to worry with, and the hospital I work for has some kind of system where my Word documents go in their system in batches. I wouldn't pretend to know what that is, LOL, but I'm not crippling along on a program that was designed for everybody but ME, and that's what happens at these big companies. They have to have a selling point, and that seems to be it.

"Here, let us do your transcription. Here's how it works. The MT types your report, it goes into the chart electronically. And the stuff is all there for the data miners, too, so everybody can like us!" This was true for Dictaphone, Lanier, everybody. They all had to have an angle for everybody in the hospital and the MT was left sucking hind teat, as we say out in the country.

Been there and done that and would only go back if I had absolutely no other choice. As much as I love this profession, I couldn't figure out why people gripe about not making money so much - and then I went to work for a national and found out real quick.  

My sign is Leo...nm

Before you sign

I don't know what they are charging you but I talked to several before I went with Trinity Debt Management whose name was given to me by my church and they were the cheapest.  But I still ended up filing a Chapter 13 because of a divorce that cost me so much I could not pay the bills.  But I did start with them and they were very nice.  It cost $50 to start the program but their monthly maintenace fees were way cheaper than the other major ones I talked with.  Some wanted as much as $100 to $150 per month to manage my account that was a payment to a bill.  But I chose the Chapter 13 repayment program and pay $300 a month for three years to the courts and they pay it out and the balances are then wiped clear.  I only had to pay partial attorney fees, mainly filing fees, the rest was put into the monthly fee.  I still feel bad but at least am paying something.  But there is nothing you can do when you go from two paychecks to one and doesn't feel the bills are his responsibility.  Good luck.  Just thought I would mention them.


she did sign for 3 yrs but if we all....nm

No, and don't ever sign...
Any type of contract or agreement that has that clause in it! Be aware!
They probably won't sign

They will probably hee and haw and not sign a contract or they put in whereas for "cause they can terminate the service immediately" or with 15 to 30 days notice they can terminate the service without cause.  So with or without a contract they will terminate her services when they find someone else if that is what they are doing.   Who knows I could be wrong and will probably get my goose cooked for working now for 15 years without contracts and have to eat my words.   Time will tell. 


I would sign....but
I won't spend $2 to do it!! Rip....
Where do I sign up?
 I would sure like to meet you in person...I've been an MT for 42 years (started at age 17 when transcription was still lumped in under "Medical Secretary."  I have worked in all venues of transcription...clinic, MTSO and legal...but never found the time to actually get all the credentialing an MT needs in the current environment.  After "proving" myself, I was promoted to supervisory level and my greatest pleasure was "helping" other MTs as I had been helped in my early years.  If you ever implement your "program", let me know because I'll sign up anytime/anywhere!!   
You don't want to sign it off any other way or ...
...you will not get credit for your lines. Use the unknown patient MRN, type it and sign if off. Follow your company/client's specifications on how to accomplish that.
I do want to sign it off
because it is a personal letter and he does not want it on the hospital system.  I would be typing it in Word and be paid separately. He has quite a few of these he wants done.  The point is he doesn't want the lines in the system.    Thank you.
Then don't sign it
Don't agree to it and don't sign it and if you do, then don't whine about it.
That would be the first sign of
epicondylitis (better known as tennis elbow). This is
very common in repetitive movement in the hand/wrist, which of course all MT's apply themselves to day after day. I experienced that for the first time in my MT life 1-1/2 years ago, very painful. After viewing articles via Internet, this totally alleviated the problem as follows. One hour before starting work, take 600 mg ibuprofen, buy a tennis elbow brace or 2, I just had it in the left hand, you wear it approximately 1/2 inch "below" the epicondyle everyday constantly that you work...within at least 4 weeks, you will find that you no longer have the pain, thus can now stop the ibuprofen, but continually wear the tennis elbow brace while working to avoid recurrence of the problem.
s/l MOSES sign.
EXTREMITIES: The patient does have +2 pitting edema bilaterally without any erythema, warmth, or tenderness to palpation along the calves.  He has negative _____ and Homan sign
brudzinski sign???- sm

Have you ever seen this dictated as part of HEENT exam on history and physical exam.

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