My husband had me on his group plan and just died. Help!

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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: Jul 15, 2021

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COBRA eligibility begins the day after his coverage ended. You will be offered either Federal COBRA (if his employer had twenty or more employees) or State COBRA (in most States). Federal COBRA will cost you whatever his employer was paying plus a 2% monthly fee. You will receive notification within 15 days that includes costs, how to elect, and timeframe; you have 60 days to decide whether to take COBRA or not, and 45 days after you notify the insurer to pay for the coverage retroactive to the date coverage ended. If you are healthy, please do not automatically accept COBRA (and NEVER automatically reject it). Instead, apply immediately for a less expensive individual policy if you find one, and use the “60 days election period” to try to get through medical underwriting. Be prepared, though, to pay the back premiums in case you are denied coverage.

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