Ask The Insurance Decoder
By Lynne Lucio
Q. I’m carrying COBRA coverage. Am I eligible to participate in the Open Enrollment process that is offered by my former employer? Thank you.—Jonathan A., Port Hueneme, CA
A. Open enrollment is the period of time which employees and COBRA participants can make changes to their health coverage. When open enrollment is offered to active employees, the same opportunity must be offered to each COBRA participant that is covered under COBRA continuation coverage.
Since COBRA participants may or may not be working, the employer is responsible to notify the COBRA participants of the open enrollment period, prior to the beginning of open enrollment.
Open enrollment is the time that eligible employees, and COBRA participants, may switch from one group health plan to another, switch from another benefit package within the same plan design or add or eliminate dependent coverage.
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 (www.ezine.com). For more information, or to submit your own health insurance related questions, contact Lynne at firstname.lastname@example.org.