Aug 3, 2007
I am self employed, and currently covered under my partner's group policy from his employer. My partner is considering other employment, which would eliminate my coverage. Following the expiration of COBRA, what options should I consider for obtaining coverage for medical and pharmaceutical expenses?
| Response from Ms. Franzoi
First, you should check whether or not you will be eligible for COBRA. Since same-sex domestic partners are not recognized under federal law, an employer has no obligation to extend COBRA-like benefits to a same-sex partners. However, many companies do offer COBRA-like coverage. The rules of this coverage are often different and usually require the former employee to take COBRA in order for the domestic partner to qualify for COBRA-like benefits.
If you are eligible for COBRA-like coverage, when it runs out, you should apply for coverage under an individual policy with a local carrier. If you have a medical condition that could preclude you from coverage under a standard policy, as long as you don't have a lapse in coverage of 63 days, you would be eligilbe for a HIPAA policy from any insurer that offers individual medical policies. If you are not eligible for COBRA-like coverage, you should apply for an individual policy (HIPAA policy if you have a medical condition).
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