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Ask The Insurance Decoder

Lynne Lucio

By Lynne Lucio

Q.  My 18-month COBRA benefit period is almost at an end.  Is there any federal or state extension that will allow me to continue my COBRA coverage beyond 18 months?  I heard that there was a COBRA subsidy; am I eligible for the subsidy?—Raymond J., Ventura, CA

A.  Currently there is no federal extension available for a regular COBRA benefit period.  The subsidy you are talking about was for employees who were involuntarily terminated prior to May 31, 2010, when the subsidy ended.  There are a few states in the country that offer an additional period of time to continue health coverage after the federal COBRA benefit period ends.   To determine whether you are eligible for additional continuation coverage, contact your state insurance department.

ASK The Insurance Decoder © Copyright 2012, Lynne Lucio.  All rights reserved.
Lynne Lucio, the author of The Insurance Decoder:  How to Maximize Your Health Insurance Benefits, Minimize Out-Of-Pocket Expenses and Stay One step Ahead of Your Insurance Company, has been a health insurance professional for over 20 years.  As an insurance insider, Lynne learned how to decipher the medical claims labyrinth and developed the specific and practical knowledge of the claims process.  Throughout her career, Lynne has shared her expertise with thousands of insured consumers, helping them resolve complicated health claims while showing them how to take full advantage of their health insurance benefits.  The depth and breadth of Lynne’s knowledge of the topic encompasses not only the claims process but also the laws that influence and regulate health coverage, including ERISA, COBRA, FMLA, USERRA, HIPAA and others.  Lynne provides consulting services to covered individuals and writes about health insurance issues on (

For more information, or to submit your own health insurance related questions, contact Lynne at  Your question may be answered in a future column. 

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