I was on my wife’s HMO and her hours were reduced and we lost the HMO. Yet we never recieved any info on using COBRA for continous coverage?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Oct 12, 2010

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Insurance Question from Fremont, CA

Asked on 10/12/2010

I was on my wife’s HMO and her hours were reduced and we lost the HMO. Yet we never recieved any info on using COBRA for continous coverage? I'm diabetic

Answer given on October 13, 2010

I’m not exactly sure what you are asking, but I’ll try to cover a few angles that will help you out.


1)  You may not have been offered COBRA.  If your wife worked for a company with less than 20 employees, they don’t have to offer it.    If you feel you should have been offered COBRA, they have a certain length of time in which to get you the information.  You don’t give any info on the date you lost coverage, etc. so I can’t evaluate that for you.  Here is a link on everything you need to know about COBRA:



You should both be eligible since you appear to meet the conditions for “qualifying events”, a reduction in hours of the covered employee…. but again, that’s it it is actually offered.  


2)  If it is too late, rather than fight for COBRA, take a look at California’s new plans for pre-existing conditions:



Chances are it will be a better or similar plan than what you currently would have through COBRA, and you will own the policy.  In 2014, these plans will all go away ( the state and fed high risk pools ) when everyone can get their own insurance, even with pre-existing conditions.  


If your wife is healthy, she can get her own plan ( individual ).  Her employer probably isn’t set up to reimburse her for it ( like they do now ) so she would have to pay for it herself, just like she would have to do with COBRA.  


Good luck!  


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