Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

Description:
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), enacted in 1986, provides continuing health insurance coverage for employees and their family due to any change in the status of their employment. Whether it is getting fire, quitting their job, or getting a new job. The maximum time COBRA coverage last is up to a period of 18 months. But once a person that is receiving COBRA benefits receives new insurance policy COBRA benefits are then lost. COBRA requires employers to notify employees of the possible continuation of healthcare coverage. Failure to do so can result in penalties for the employer. From either the date you are set to loose your current coverage or the date you receive your election notice, you are given up to 60 days to elect for COBRA coverage. COBRA is very expensive. COBRA coverage can cost up to, but not to exceed, 102% of the full applicable premium.

Some events that make an employee or their family eligible for COBRA are:
  • Reduction of hours
  • Death
  • No longer a dependant
  • Divorce

Applications:
People change jobs more frequently than ever, many people even have several careers in their life. The time in between jobs can be difficult for workers and their families. COBRA ensures that health coverage will be available to these people while they are looking for another job. Through HIEs transferring information through insurance companies make getting and continuing coverage more effective and efficient. Insurers can also use anonymous EHR data to lower premium cost by analyzing the health data of their consumers. They can compare the data by area, to others that they do not insure, or anything else that differs their consumers from others.

Web Resources:
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/fscobra.html|U.S. Department of Labor
http://www.pohly.com/terms_c.html

Related Terminology:
  • Florida Healthy Start Program
  • Children's Health Insurance Program
  • Athena Health
  • Health Insurance
  • Medicaid

Citations/References:

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COBRA