The COBRA or Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act is a piece of legislation that indicates that you have to pay for group medical coverage once you have ceased to be an employee of your company. In most cases, the company you are employed in will pay for part of your medical coverage. However, if you do not work for this company anymore, you will have to pay the full amount to maintain the coverage. You must do this for up to 18 months of non-employment from said company. These costs can be difficult to factor into your budget, and you should find ways to reduce COBRA costs, so it won't be too heavy on your budget. Below are ways on how to reduce COBRA costs so you can breathe a little bit easier.
- Contact a health plan agent. You may call on the administrator who handled your medical coverage plan and consult with him. You should contact him so you can fill out the forms needed to carry out the process of paying for your medical coverage. You may also consult and ask him if there are ways to minimize the costs of spending for medical coverage. He might know a thing or two about these things.
- Ask for reduced rates. If you think that you cannot handle the full costs and are planning to decline the coverage, you should first ask your health plan administrator for this. He may be able to provide you with cheaper rates, since he works for the health insurance. He will be privy to information that the regular consumer might not be aware of.
- Make sure you are qualified. Before you can receive the reduction of costs, you must first make sure that you are qualified for COBRA. You should also make sure that you will not get insurance from a new employer, or even from your spouse's employer. If you acquire a salary that exceeds the limits of the requirements, then you have to pay back the amount of the discount that has been granted to you.
- Appeal to the Department of Labor. If your appeal for a reduction of costs gets declined, don't lose hope. You can still appeal your case to the Department of Labor and they can change the ruling in your favor. When you appeal to the Department of Labor, make sure that you present them with facts and the appropriate documents to back up your claims and request. Make sure that you show them that you have thought things out and you have everything in order.
- Visit the COBRA website. For more information, you must visit the COBRA website so you are ensured of the veracity of the details you have been getting. It is still best to get the information directly from the source, so make sure that you read the website's information thoroughly.
If you want to pursue getting reductions on your COBRA costs, you must do so equipped with all the information that you need. Make sure that you have researched well and you are well aware of the requirements and other qualifications to be able to pursue your goal.