What is the Cobra Disability Extension?
The purpose of the disability extension is to act as a bridge to allow disabled individuals to remain on Cobra until they become entitled to Medicare. Individuals who have been deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration can extend their coverage for an additional 11 months for a total of 29 months of coverage.
In order to approve the extension, a copy of the letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) is required and the member must meet the following criteria:
- Letter Date – The member must forward their SSA Disability award letter within 60 days of receipt. If they received the letter before enrolling in Cobra, they must forward a copy of the letter within the first 60 days of enrolling.
- Disability Date – The member must have been deemed disabled within the first 60 days of being enrolled in Cobra OR before enrolling in Cobra.
- Submission Date – Did all of this occur within the 18 months of active Cobra coverage ? The member needs to be approved for SSA disability and provide paperwork while they are still actively enrolled in Cobra.
- COBRA Offering – The extension is only available to individuals who initially qualify for 18 months of COBRA. Individuals who qualify for 36 months of coverage are not eligible for the extension as their 36 month offering already exceeds the 29 month disability extension.
It’s important to note that in some scenarios, the premium can increase to 150% during the 11 month extension so it may not be cost effective for the family members to stay on the plan. At myCobraPlan, we can help you navigate through this complicated process. Give us a call today at (800) 865-4485.