Special enrollment offers alternative to COBRA

first_imgWashington Healthplanfinder is offering a limited special enrollment period for those who are currently covered by COBRA but would rather purchase a plan through the state-based insurance exchange.People who purchase plans through the exchange may be eligible to receive tax credits to help cover the cost of insurance coverage — something not available with COBRA. COBRA allows people to temporarily continue to participate in group health insurance after leaving an employer’s plan, but the cost is generally much greater than their former contribution.“Switching to a plan on Washington Healthplanfinder can, in some instances, save a person hundreds or thousands of dollars,” said Michael Marchand, exchange spokesman. “For many people, COBRA may have been their only option, and it may have been an expensive option.”Completed applications must be submitted to the exchange, www.wahealthplanfinder.org, by 11:59 p.m. July 1. Washington Healthplanfinder does offer special enrollment throughout the year for people with qualifying life events, such as getting married, having a child, adopting a child, involuntarily losing health coverage, moving to a new coverage area or aging out of a parent’s plan.Limited window to enrollThe exchange requires verifying information — a marriage certificate or birth certificate, for example — to confirm the change, Marchand said. Residents have 60 days from the date of the qualifying life event to enroll in a plan through the exchange.last_img read more