Can I get Medicare instead of COBRA?

Asked by: Mervin Friesen  |  Last update: December 4, 2023
Score: 4.3/5 (47 votes)

If you become eligible and enroll in Medicare before COBRA, the good news is that you can have both. Taking COBRA is optional, and depending on your situation, you may or may not want to. If you do decide to take COBRA, do not drop your Medicare plan.

Can you go from COBRA to Medicare?

If you have COBRA first and then become eligible for Medicare, your COBRA coverage may end. Since you will not be fully covered with COBRA you should enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B when you are first eligible to avoid a late enrollment penalty.

What can I do instead of COBRA insurance?

If you want to avoid paying the COBRA cost, go with a short-term plan if you're waiting for approval on another health plan. Choose a Marketplace or independent plan for broader coverage. Choose a high-deductible plan to keep your costs low.

Who pays first COBRA or Medicare?

I have COBRA continuation coverage (See pages 28–29 )

If you have Medicare because you're 65 or over or because you have a disability other than End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), Medicare pays first .

Can I choose ACA instead of COBRA?

If you choose to enroll in COBRA, you can switch to ACA health insurance under the following circumstances: You have used up all of your COBRA coverage. You have another qualifying life event that makes you eligible for another Special Enrollment Period. It is the annual Open Enrollment Period.

How do Cobra and Medicare Work Together?

39 related questions found

Can I cancel COBRA and get Obamacare?

Does that affect my eligibility for Marketplace subsidies? No, having COBRA doesn't affect your eligibility for premium tax credits. However, you can only drop COBRA and sign up for a Marketplace plan and premium tax credits during Open Enrollment.

Is Medicare always primary to COBRA?

When you're eligible for or entitled to Medicare due to ESRD, COBRA pays first, and Medicare pays second during a coordination period that lasts up to 30 months after you're first eligible for Medicare. After the coordination period ends, Medicare pays first.

Is Medicare primary or secondary?

Primary payers are those that have the primary responsibility for paying a claim. Medicare remains the primary payer for beneficiaries who are not covered by other types of health insurance or coverage. Medicare is also the primary payer in certain instances, provided several conditions are met.

Can I get COBRA if I retire before 65?

Unfortunately, you will have to pay the entire premium yourself, plus an administration fee of up to 2%. COBRA Coverage is limited to 18 months, so if you retire before age 63-1/2, you'll need to eventually find other coverage.

What is the COBRA loophole?

Cal-COBRA is a California Law that lets you keep your group health plan when your job ends or your hours are cut. It may also be available to people who have exhausted their Federal COBRA.

Are COBRA benefits worth it?

Pros and Cons of COBRA

COBRA can help bridge the health insurance gap until you qualify for another health plan. You have up to 60 days to accept if you don't sign up for COBRA right away. Coverage is retroactive. You can keep using the same claims filing methods, doctors, and pharmacists that you're used to.

Why are COBRA plans so expensive?

Why is COBRA so expensive? Employers don't typically contribute to help a former employee with COBRA costs. The individual has to pay both the employee and employer's portion of premiums, which makes COBRA coverage expensive.

Is Medicare going up in 2023?

For 2023, the Part A deductible will be $1,600 per stay, an increase of $44 from 2022. For those people who have not worked long enough to qualify for premium-free Part A, the monthly premium will also rise. The full Part A premium will be $506 a month in 2023, a $7 increase.

What happens when COBRA runs out?

When your COBRA coverage expires, you will qualify for a special enrollment period to sign up for a marketplace ACA health insurance plan. There are also other options, such as Mira.

What does it mean to be entitled to Medicare?

Generally, Medicare is for people 65 or older. You may be able to get Medicare earlier if you have a disability, End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant), or ALS (also called Lou Gehrig's disease).

How much is Medicare Part B?

Most people pay the standard Part B monthly premium amount ($164.90 in 2023). Social Security will tell you the exact amount you'll pay for Part B in 2023. You pay the standard premium amount if you: Enroll in Part B for the first time in 2023.

In what conditions does Medicare become primary?

For people with more than one form of coverage, in most cases, Medicare is primary. Some examples of when Medicare pays first include when it coordinates with group coverage through a smaller employer, COBRA, being on inactive duty with TRICARE, or Medicaid.

What does Medicare pay if it is secondary?

Usually, secondary insurance pays some or all of the costs left after the primary insurer has paid (e.g., deductibles, copayments, coinsurances). For example, if Original Medicare is your primary insurance, your secondary insurance may pay for some or all of the 20% coinsurance for Part B-covered services.

Can you go off Medicare and then go back on?

If you are a retiree on Medicare who's rejoining the workforce, be aware that you might have choices when it comes to your health-care coverage. Depending on where you work, you may be able to drop Medicare in favor of an employer health plan and then re-enroll down the road.

How do you determine which insurance is primary and which is secondary?

The insurance that pays first is called the primary payer. The primary payer pays up to the limits of its coverage. The insurance that pays second is called the secondary payer. The secondary payer only pays if there are costs the primary insurer didn't cover.

How much will Part B go up in 2023?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that the standard monthly Part B premium will be $164.90 in 2023, a decrease of $5.20 from $170.10 in 2022.

Are you automatically covered by COBRA?

To be eligible for COBRA coverage, you must have been enrolled in your employer's health plan when you worked and the health plan must continue to be in effect for active employees.

How do I cancel COBRA?

To cancel your COBRA plan you will need to notify your previous employer or the plan administrator in writing, requesting to terminate the insurance.

Is it necessary to have a Medicare supplement?

Medicare supplement plans are optional but could save you big $$$ on doctor bills. Your cost-sharing under Part B is similar. You are responsible for paying your Part B deductible, which is $226 in 2023. Then Part B Medicare only pay 80% of approved services.