Cobra Part B

Medicare, Creditable Coverage and COBRA

Cobra and Part B

As you approach age 65, you should start thinking about COBRA and Part B for Medicare Nevada Plans. Each of them may have a serious effect on your medical coverage and cost. There is an interplay between them, and you want to get it right.

Looking to Retire?

Unless you plan on working for the rest of your life, you will probably wind up having just Medicare coverage at some point. For many of us, this will be after our working career ends. When it comes time to leave your employer and move on to retirement, you may have choices. Do you have a younger spouse who needs continuing medical coverage? Do you want to work full time past age 65 for your employer or elsewhere? Will your employer allow you to continue working on a part-time basis? Do you just want to be set free?

Considering COBRA?

The answers to these questions and others may lead you to consider COBRA coverage. If available from your employer, COBRA can usually continue your health coverage for 18 months. Once you are on COBRA, it may appear that your relationship with your employer hasn’t changed regarding your health insurance. But it has. You still have the health insurance coverage through COBRA, but you are no longer an employee. And that makes a difference.

COBRA is not Creditable

COBRA medical coverage is not credible (coverage that has minimum coverage requirements), even though you may have the exact same insurance plan as before. Why do you care? Because if you are thinking that you will wait to enroll in Medicare Part B until after your COBRA expires, DON’T. Medicare gives you an eight-month period, after your employment ends, to enroll in Part B of Medicare. If you don’t enroll within those eight months, you will probably experience a delay in Medicare benefits and a 10% fine for not enrolling in time. It doesn’t matter if you are enrolled in COBRA.

Medicare Part B

Let’s be clear on this… COBRA does not extend the eight-month period to enroll in Medicare Part B once your employment ends. Want to be safe? Enroll in Part B when you first leave your employment.

Our office can assist you with understanding these specific quandaries as well as health insurance in general as your no-cost broker.