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Our COBRA coverage ends soon. Can COBRA be extended beyond 18 months? If not, what other options are available?OnlineAdviser responds:
This is surprisingly one of the most frequent questions we receive at OnlineAdviser. It is surprising because only a relative few people use COBRA coverage and, on average, individuals who purchase their own health insurance change policies about every 11 months. A need for coverage beyond 18 months would presumably be rare. Yet apparently for those who do need COBRA coverage and can afford to pay for it, the need sometimes extends for longer periods of time.
The direct answer is that there are specific (but rare) circumstances that allow COBRA to be extended beyond 18 months. Rather than repeat these details here, see more information on this topic at COBRAplan.com.
Since these circumstances are so rare and COBRA normally expires at the end of the 18 month period, it may be useful to review the options available. These vary based on state law and specific circumstances but OnlineAdviser is available to review these options on an individual basis.
This Web site is independently owned and operated by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the other commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. Any tax advice in this communication including attachments and linked resources cannot be used by the taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.