I am about to end a domestic partnership but I am still dependant on my partner for my medical benefits. I am thinking of opting for Cobra since I won't be considered for Medicare till the end of this year. But I am yet to know whether I would qualify for any assistance to be able to pay for this benefit. Would there be any income limitations applicable in this case?
Posted: 23 Mar 2006 07:01 Post Subject: Domestic partners' plan
There are some health plans that allow domestic partners but not all of them. Go through your partner's plan and check if you are at all eligible for Cobra. Otherwise you always have the option of a HIPAA policy till you don't have a break in coverage greater than 63 days. Now the choice is yours !
Posted: 31 Mar 2006 06:59 Post Subject:
Posted: 01 Apr 2006 05:53 Post Subject: Just an idea of HIPAA
A proper knowledge of health record and associated information would help a person to be accurate to understand what the scopes of others accessing his health information are and might assist him to take better decisions while he authorizes others.
The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act allows people to use and disclose Protected Health Information without their specific authorization for treatment, payment, operations etc. This involves sharing the vital personalized information most appropriately with other healthcare components. Sometimes the person concerned may be contacted for appointment reminders or follow-up care. But for certain uses and disclosers the person's authorization is a must.
Posted: 30 Apr 2008 07:17 Post Subject:
COBRA has nothing whatsoever to do with income, or lack thereof. COBRA, a federal set of rules, simply provides a continuation of group medical coverage upon separation from work or from the group plan itself due to other circumstances, such as death, divorce, and a number of other things.
Evan said (and he know his stuff):
There are some health plans that allow domestic partners but not all of them.
From the OP, my assumption is that you're already covered under your domestic partners' group plan, and if so, you are normally eligible for COBRA continuation under the same circumstances that would apply if you were married and now getting divorced. This will typically give you an 18-month extension of coverage. The premium rate for COBRA continuation is usually 102% of whatever was paid under the group premium rate. Hmmmm...sticker shock anyone? :cry:
As far as HIPAA is concerned, while it's true that HIPAA deals primarily with the protection of what's called "Individually Identifiable Health Information" or "IIHI," this is different from the "63-day rule" which is the "portability" part of HIPAA.
This rules states that the time spent in an existing health must be granted "creditable coverage" in a new health plan. This means that if the applicant for a new health plan has pre-existing conditions ("pre-x") that would normally be excluded under the new health plan for a period of time must be given "credit" towards those waiting periods based on the time spent in the new health plan. This normally applies only if the insured actually applies for the new health plan within 63 days of losing coverage under the old health plan.
For example: Let's say that a person has spent 9 months in his "old" plan, loses that plan, and wants a new plan. If the new plan is issued (more on that later) the new plan must credit the insured with the 9 months of coverage spent in the old plan towards any waiting period in the new plan. So, if the new plan were to exclude coverage for pre-x for, say, 12 months, the HIPAA rules state that the new plan may exclude for no more than 3 months: 12 month exclusionary period minus the 9 months spent in the old plan equals a 3-month pre-x exclusion.
One important thing to remember is that the new plan, if an individual plan, is NOT required to actually issue. Group plans have different rules, but it sounds as if the OP is considering an individual plan. COBRA continuation cannot exclude for pre-x in most cases.
Please also understand that in many cases, COBRA coverage will end with Medicare eligibility.
As far as paying for COBRA, some states have assistance packages that will help pay the premiums if the insured meets income guidelines and there are state funds available at that time. Check out your state for details.
Hope this actually makes sense and helps! Please ask if you need further clarification!