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What Happens When COBRA Ends

Summer 2012

COBRA is an excellent law that allows people to stay on their employer's plan if they lose their employer's health coverage, including related benefits such as dental, vision, and prescription drug plans, due to termination or reduction in hours. However, the extension is normally only available for 18 months. Once that is ended, people still need health coverage and people with HCV are "uninsurable" in the open health insurance market.

There are two additional laws that can extend the period you can have health insurance. COBRA is a federal law that allows disabled persons to extend their COBRA coverage until Medicare starts. HIPAA contains a provision that allows a person to purchase an individual health insurance policy when their COBRA finally ends, regardless of their health history or medical condition.

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