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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I turned in my two week notice last Monday. I've accepted a new job - a permanent job (no more contract work) and my last day is March 18th.

Whenever I've changed jobs in the past, the companies that I worked for all let me carry my health insurance until the end of the month. They had paid for it at the beginning of the month, and since I was paid two weeks after the work I had done, they would just take the last half of my share out of my last check.

However, the scum bag company I am leaving is cutting off my health insurance on the 18th, even though I will get pay checks on March 22nd and April 7th. My guess is they want to get a refund from the insurance company. My health insurance with my new employer won't begin until April 4th. So, I'm going to need some form of health insurance to cover the 17 day gap.

I've used my Google-Fu and found several companies and plans that provide short term health insurance coverage. I haven't chosen one yet.

Has anyone ever purchased a short term plan? If so, what did you get and what should I look for or avoid? I've never had to do this before and I'm trying to learn as much as I can in a very short period of time.

Thanks,

Whit
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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Don't they legally have to offer you COBRA to cover you for a period of time (a year, I think)? You usually have 30 - 60 days to accept or decline COBRA coverage but even if you did have to decide right then, it would be worth it for a month.

I always used that to cover job change gaps, and if nothing happened in the gap period, then I declined COBRA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They are going to offer COBRA to me, but unlike every other company, they won't give it to me until sometime after I leave - up to 14 days after I leave according to the letter I was given. Usually, I got information on COBRA when I outprocessed.

I've never had to use COBRA either. I'm just trying to find something that I can use to cover the gap for 17 days.
 

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Time to melt snowflakes!
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Don't they legally have to offer you COBRA to cover you for a period of time (a year, I think)? You usually have 30 - 60 days to accept or decline COBRA coverage but even if you did have to decide right then, it would be worth it for a month.

I always used that to cover job change gaps, and if nothing happened in the gap period, then I declined COBRA.
COBRA takes time to setup and apply for, and is a joke cost wise.

OP: Many insurance companies are not going to offer short term plans. Are you trying to avoid the penalty or want insurance?
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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COBRA should have a back dated effective date though. The whole idea of COBRA is to prevent lapse of coverage. If it isn't offered for 14 days, you have another X days to return the package accepting it AND it is effective the day your other insurance lapses you could have coverage for that time period through them.

Yes, COBRA sucks cost wise but in comparison to the horrendous rates you'd pay for a short term carry over plan, which would include a lump policy fee and underwriting fee in addition to the premium, most likely you would still be better off to go COBRA for a month than try to find a short term carrier.

If COBRA doesn't work for you, check before the insurance stops with the carrier (Prudential/United Healthcare/whoever the actual insurer is) and see if they have an independent policy that you can pick up short term. Sometimes they'll let you slide from one to the other without a ton of set up fees. Even if the employer is self-insured and the carrier is just an administrator, they may still do that. Premiums are going to be a right witch no matter which way you go.

I've wrangled insurance 8 ways to sundown over the years. I had one of those kids who would spit up a major organ if he suspected we didn't have insurance. :cool:
 

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I went through a similar instance almost two years ago when I changed employers. We just went one month without health insurance coverage. The sky didn't fall in, thankfully. If you have a family, I think it's a bigger deal to maintain constant coverage. Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. The likelihood of needing medical care during a 17 day time frame is very low for most people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OP: Many insurance companies are not going to offer short term plans. Are you trying to avoid the penalty or want insurance?
From what I read, my 2 week gap isn't going to generate a penalty. I don't remember what the time limit is, but I'm well under it.

I'm worried about something occurring during that two week period to my wife, my kids and I. A visit to the doctor because we are sick is something that I can pay out of pocket. I'm looking for more options on something catastrophic that might occur.

I did find a website that listed several plans that are good for up to six months.
 

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Time to melt snowflakes!
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From what I read, my 2 week gap isn't going to generate a penalty. I don't remember what the time limit is, but I'm well under it.
It is ninety days of consecutive non-coverage.

I'm worried about something occurring during that two week period to my wife, my kids and I. A visit to the doctor because we are sick is something that I can pay out of pocket. I'm looking for more options on something catastrophic that might occur.

I did find a website that listed several plans that are good for up to six months.
I looked and only found garbage for my state. You could simply look at one of the non-ACA/ObamaCare approved plans. It would still be a penalty (though there are ways around that) but it might cover catastrophic coverage.
 

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Ok...here is the trick (I have worked in the insurance industry for many years)

First, it is really odd that they would go through the hassle of cutting off your insurance mid month. What an administrative nightmare....not unheard of, but a PITA.

Second, there is no need to purchase something short term. Since they must offer you 18 months of COBRA and it must be retro active to your date of termination, what you do is go uninsured for those 17 days. If something happens, then you pay for your COBRA for one month, if not, no money out of pocket.

You have 60 days to elect COBRA (from the date of notification, which is supposed to be sent certified mail). Once you elect COBRA, you have another 45 days to pay back premium, so it basically gives you a three and a half month buffer if you play your dates right.
 

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COBRA only kicks in if your employer is of certain size. If it does in your case, you must pay up to 102% of the full premium for health insurance. Expensive? Many people, myself included, have been paying full premium all their lives. Who do you expect to pay for your health insurance...your neighbor?

Just get the COBRA insurance and switch over once you can with a new employer. In the alternative, go the the ACA exchange and buy insurance. If you have a gap and leave your family without health insurance in the interim, shame on you.

I don't get this belly aching. That's part of life. You're the one who started this process not the employer you resigned from. You should have planned in advance for every possible outcome. That's part of the process of switching employment which you initiated.

Enough already.
 

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Peas and Carrots!
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You have to pay all of the insurance and an administration fee (2%) so the former employer is out zero money for you carrying the COBRA coverage. Since you aren't an employee, it was determined that the employer shouldn't have costs associated with the COBRA provision.
 

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Warlord of the wastes
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shan.shahan has the right advice.

If you need insurance but don't want COBRA, say you lost a job or took another without insurance, etc, you can apply for insurance through an insurance company or broker at any time during the year. If you just don't have insurance, you have to sign up during the open enrollment period, usually october-november if I remember correctly, and cannot just decide in March that you want coverage. Stupid, yes, but those are the Obamacare rules.

*edit* I can't believe they are taking the administrative paperwork nightmare of shutting down coverage mid-month. You must have really ****ed them off by turning in your two weeks notice.
 

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I think the lesson to be learned here is to plan ahead for things. The situation would be different is you were fired and had to scramble to make decisions. In this case, the OP quit so he had plenty of time ahead of that to plan for health insurance.

If it important, which is should be especially with children, a person who voluntarily leaves should have mapped out every option ahead of time. What if they offer insurance but it's expensive, what if they don't offer it, what if I go to the ACA exchange, etc. That way, no matter how the soon-to-be ex-employer reacts, you are poised to take immediate action.

There's no reason for this to have gotten to a crisis situation, period.
 

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*edit* I can't believe they are taking the administrative paperwork nightmare of shutting down coverage mid-month. You must have really ****ed them off by turning in your two weeks notice.
Some companies simply do that. My former employer was like that, if you left they stopped the insurance ASAP, even though the CEO stated he wanted the insurance left until the end of the month. The HR director was very vindictive and took it as a personal 'slight' if someone quit.
 

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*edit* I can't believe they are taking the administrative paperwork nightmare of shutting down coverage mid-month. You must have really ****ed them off by turning in your two weeks notice.
100% agree, this is all about spite and it is not a good business decision. It will probably cost the company almost as much in lost productivity and employee time to push the paper and such as the money they are getting back.
 

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Warlord of the wastes
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Some companies simply do that. My former employer was like that, if you left they stopped the insurance ASAP, even though the CEO stated he wanted the insurance left until the end of the month. The HR director was very vindictive and took it as a personal 'slight' if someone quit.
I used to do contract work for a company that if you turned in your two week notice they would allow you a few minutes to gather any personal belongings then escort you out the door. The silliest part: they typically had just enough people to do the scheduled jobs, so they had three bad choices then: hire an outside contractor (me) at 3x+ what they paid their employees, try to work with their customer and move the job to another time, or just have to give up and not do the job correctly. All in the name of "protecting trade secrets" of which they had none.
 

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All in the name of "protecting trade secrets" of which they had none.
I had a customer like that once. I never understood it. If the contractor/employee was going to steal information or assets, they would do it before putting in their notice. Someone quitting is not the same as someone being fired.

This same company also had a 90 day wait period before benefits kicked in for new employees. There was no logistical reason for it, just what the HR director wanted. It created a few problems because it was not disclosed until after someone was hired on, and a few quit because of it.
 
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