Is Cobra Insurance Retroactive

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Is Cobra Insurance Retroactive – Hello friends! Long time no see. I don’t plan to get back to blogging regularly, but this story is interesting from a financial standpoint and I think I’ll pass on it.

I started a new job in November. The health insurance for my old job lasted until November and the health insurance for my new job didn’t start until January 1st, so for me there is no coverage for December unless I want to do COBRA. I don’t want to do COBRA because I have to pay the full amount for the month – meaning not just the employee but also the employer, or about $1,600 for a month of service My best advice for December: “Okay kids: none of you are allowed to sick this month, is it true?”

Is Cobra Insurance Retroactive

Then came December 28th. After midnight, our oldest son came into our bedroom complaining of a stomach ache, then undressed. He threw up several more times that night and the next morning. His appetite had also disappeared (

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Unusual for this), so we took him to the doctor in the afternoon. The doctor’s verdict: “Probably nothing, but there’s a small chance it could cause a stomach ulcer, so be careful. Here’s some gasp medicine.”

We kept an eye on it and it was getting worse. Finally at 9:00 that night we went to the emergency room. At 11:00, after some tests and an x-ray, the doctor told us that our son had an intestinal obstruction and that we needed to get the thing out now before it burst. The operation started at 2:30 am and ended at 03:30 am. Success! I am pleased to report that it went well and without a hitch. He was admitted to the hospital and we talked to the doctor and the woman stayed with our son when I went home at 5:00 to get a few hours sleep. He was released at 11am that morning and was back to normal two days later.

A few weeks later the bills arrived. I used to use medical insurance so I was wondering how they would go. Final result:

$25k, give or take! The reason I approach this bill with more curiosity than dread is because COBRA coverage works—you don’t have to sign up right away to get it. I’ll quote the interfaces here, but please don’t take anything you come across here as gospel, and please do your own research if and when you should consider COBRA:

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COBRA beneficiaries have 60 days to decide whether they need COBRA coverage. If you sign up for COBRA before 60 days have passed, your coverage is reinstated, as long as you pay your premiums. This means that if you receive medical bills during your “election period,” you can revoke — and legally — elect COBRA and pay the bills.

Pretty cool, huh? It’s a heads-I-win, tails-you-lose mentality, where “you” is your first doctor. This is why I didn’t bother signing up for auto insurance. We only have a gap of one month to cover, so being without insurance has no risk in our records, except the risk of forgetting to register in sixty days. If we make it through the month, no one has serious medical bills, great. If we don’t, no problem – just log back into work.

It is actually more useful because of our unique situation. The way it works (that’s what I was told anyway) is that you continue your health plan as you left it until the end of the year. Since we have four children, two of whom have serious enough health issues that we often take it down for the year, we’ve been in a pretty good place where most of the medical bills are absorbed by the insurer. Here’s what we actually paid (after we coughed up that $1,600, of course):

I don’t know why the huge hospital bill went to zero. They didn’t send me a bill after I submitted my insurance info so I went in and it said we have no balance. I’m not sure what to think about this.

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