COBRA Frequently Asked Questions
What is a COBRA Qualifying Event?
For a covered employee, a "qualifying event" can include:
- Voluntary or involuntary termination of employment (other than for gross misconduct)
- Reduction in the number of hours of employment
For a spouse or dependent child, a "qualifying event" can include:
- Voluntary or involuntary termination of the covered employee’s termination
- of employment (other than for gross misconduct)
- Reduction in the number of hours worked by a covered employee
- Covered employee’s death
- Divorce or legal separation from a covered employee
- Loss of dependent child status under the plan rules
- Entitlement to Medicare by a covered employee
What is a Qualified Beneficiary (QB)?
A "qualified beneficiary" can be:
- An employee covered under a group health plan.
- A spouse of a covered employee
- A dependent child of a covered employee
- A child born to, or placed for adoption with, a covered employee during the period of COBRA coverage
How do I elect COBRA coverage?
You may elect COBRA online by referencing the New Member Login Notice contained at the end of your COBRA packet. This notice will walk you through the registration process and from there, you will be able to create a user name and password. Once you are in your account, you will have the opporutnity to elect the plans you wish to continue. You also have the option to mail in your hard forms to P.O. Box 2291, Omaha, NE 68103-2291, faxing them to 800-975-7296, or emailing them to [email protected]
. You must elect COBRA within the deadline specified in your COBRA packet (referred to as your Specific Rights Notice). You will have 45 days from the date of your election to submit payment in order to have your coverage reinstated. The reinstatement process will begin once we secure and apply the initial premium payment. Please reference the Q&A on how to pay COBRA premiums for additional guideance on payment options.
Do I have to mail a payment with my COBRA Election Form?
You can return your initial payment with your COBRA Election Form or you can delay your initial payment for up to 45 days after the date your COBRA Election Forms are postmarked. However, you must pay the initial payment in order for your COBRA coverage to be activated. Regardless of when you mail your initial payment, it must include premiums due retroactive to the date your COBRA coverage began.
When are premiums due?
Igoe offers the following premium payment options:
- Money Order
- Bank Bill Pay (facilitated directly through your bank)
- Online Credit Card (please note a $20 service fee will be invoked)
- ACH (free of charge)
Physical payments should be mailed to P.O. Box 2291 Omaha, NE 68103-2291. You may begin the credit card and ACH process directly through your COBRA account login. If you need login information, please reference your COBRA packet or contact us at 800-633-8818, Option 2.
Will I receive a monthly bill?
No. Igoe will mail you payment coupons that should be remitted with your payment each month. Payments will be accepted without the payment coupons but should include the primary account holder’s name and former employer in order to be processed correctly.
How do I pay my COBRA premium?
Payments in the form of check or money order should be mailed to Igoe at P.O. Box 2291 Omaha, NE 68103-2291. For expedited delivery and/or delivery confirmation, payment can be mailed through the United States Postal Service’s Express or Priority Mail services.
Will I receive a new insurance card?
You should continue to use the same insurance card provided to you by your former employer unless you receive a new insurance card. To confirm whether a new card will be received, please contact the customer service number on the back of your insurance card.
Where do I send my claims?
Please continue to submit claims to your insurance carrier directly. Igoe Administrative Services does not pay COBRA insurance claims.
How long does COBRA coverage last?
Continuation coverage can last for up to 18 months for termination or reduction in hours of employment (29 months for certain disabled qualified beneficiaries and their nondisabled family members) or 36 months for other events, depending on the qualifying event. Also, a special "multiple qualifying event" rule may extend the 18-month period to 36 months. Please refer to your COBRA Election Notice for additional information.
What causes COBRA coverage to terminate?
COBRA coverage terminates once the 18 or 36 month period expires. COBRA coverage can terminate early if the qualified beneficiary fails to pay premium on time or becomes covered under another group health plan or Medicare after the COBRA election date. The maximum period may end if the employer terminates all of its group health plans or if the qualified beneficiary requests early cancellation.
Can I remain on COBRA after my coverage ends?
You MAY be eligible for a State Continuation extension plan or conversion to an individual plan. To determine your eligibility, please contact your insurance carrier prior to your COBRA expiration.
How do I cancel my COBRA coverage?
You must submit a written request which includes the coverage you wish to cancel and the effective date of the cancellation. The request must include your signature and your spouse’s signature IF your spouse is a covered dependent. You have the option of allowing your account to terminate automatically by not making the premium payment due. Once your account has been terminated, a Termination Notice and Certificate of Creditable Coverage will be mailed to you.