Covered California launched a two-month limited open enrollment period for COBRA health insurance policyholders who want to transition to a health plan offered through the state health insurance exchange.
COBRA — or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 — allows individuals who lose their job or leave their position to continue coverage through their former employers’ insurance plan if they pay the full amount of the premium, which is often substantial higher than the original employee share.
Reasons to Reopen Enrollment
Individuals with COBRA plans could have switched to exchange plans during the exchange’s first open enrollment period between October 2013 and April 15. However, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said that due to the main focus on getting the uninsured covered, he is allowing for COBRA policyholder an extension of the open enrollment period.
Lee said, “Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, plans in the individual market could be preferable to COBRA coverage because of premium assistance and cost-sharing reductions, available only through the exchanges.”
Details of Special Open Enrollment Period
During the special open enrollment period, COBRA policyholders can contact a broker who assist them to enroll into the Covered California system or sign up directly through the Covered California website by selecting the “other ‘qualifying life events'” option. The enrollment period will last until July 15 and could affect nearly 300,000 California residents.
If you lost your job or if you are on COBRA or have a qualifying life event please contact Solid Health Insurance Service. We will help you to navigate through the application process of Covered California and make sure that you enroll in a health plan which covers your preferred doctor and hospital.