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COBRA and life insurance portability

daBeachBum's picture
daBeachBum
Posts: 164
Joined: Apr 2011

Hey gang,

Does anyone have experience porting their work life insurance over when moving to COBRA?

I have been filling out a ton of forms recently since I have transitioned from STD to LTD. SSDI ( no word yet) SSI ( denied, but I knew that since it's needs based), forms for the insurance company with doctor' records, stuff to NJ since I was eligible for 6 months of payments from them for STD (I max/drop out next month and this amount should get picked back up by my LTD - it was deducted from STD). LTD pays 2/3 and since I'm not making any 401k contributions and the LTD premiums were paid with post tax dollars. It should be close to what I took home, so all-in-all I am very happy with the situation. My COBRA payment isn't too bad since it's just me. I was very lucky to have a great benefits package...

I haven't gotten any correspondence about the life insurance piece yet, I'll have to give my benefits rep a call. My nephew who worked as a benefits rep says that I should be able to port the coverage to a new account number for the same price my employer pays now. This is obviously much more appealing than paying through the nose for new insurance ( IF anyone would take me). He further said that if I went back to work, I could maintain both my coverage through work and this new policy since they would have different account numbers.

Has anyone done or heard of this?

Thanks!

Ray

plh4gail's picture
plh4gail
Posts: 1238
Joined: Oct 2010

No...sorry Ray I have not.

Gail

Lovekitties's picture
Lovekitties
Posts: 3355
Joined: Jan 2010

I would call the company you worked for as well as the company who manages the life insurance to find out how you can do this with them.

I know I was able to carry over mine as long as I was willing to pay the full payment.

Marie who loves kitties

daBeachBum's picture
daBeachBum
Posts: 164
Joined: Apr 2011

Thanks for the input. I logged into my work email for the first time since the end of May (436 new emails Lol) and shot out an Email on this. I'll update the post when I hear back.

Thanks again,

Ray

On another note, I have had a bunch of ladies stopping by my house the last couple of days!

They are Diamondback Terrapins coming to lay their eggs in the rocks in my yard :-) 25 years ago these were all dunes. Surprisingly last summer there were hundreds of hatchlings making a mad dash for the reeds in September. I woulda thought that rock yards weren't a good spot to raise the young 'uns!

There are two in the backyard and one behind my car in the front. Guess I'm walking to get lunch...

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

Your company has to and you a cobra packet by law. You have 60 or 90 days to send your payment in. But you should do it right away. Your cost is usually 102%. Once approved for SSI. you wil be eligible for another 18 months. You can't go beyond 62 (or is it 63, one of them). days without coverage or lapse in coverage or you will have a pre existing. Check my days posted on the Dol site. You should be able to port your life insurance.

http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/cobra.html

Good night.

daBeachBum's picture
daBeachBum
Posts: 164
Joined: Apr 2011

I spoke to the company that administers my COBRA benefits and Nana was spot on with what they said.

They will convert a life insurance policy to a private policy and by law cannot ask any health questions if you start the ball rolling within 60 days (or 30 under some rare circumstances). Since people who opt into this often have serious pre-existing conditions, it is priced accordingly (kind of a high risk pool). If the disability is total, they pick up the premium. They use a similar "unable to perform ANY job" criteria similar to, but not identical to, the one needed for SSDI.

On that note, I just got word from Social Security that I have been declared Permanently Disabled. The process was surprisingly fast, around three weeks. My life insurance premium will be paid by the company if they come to the same conclusion. I have some decisions to make about whether to head back to work or not. Retiring early was always a dream of mine, but I never thought about it being in these circumstances :-p There may also be a possibility of cashing in the policy for an "Accelerated Benefit" while I am still kicking. Since I don't have any kids, I might consider this if it's available for my plan.

Thanks again,

Ray

Nana b's picture
Nana b
Posts: 3045
Joined: May 2009

Be careful with the Accelerated benefit because after a certain time, if you don't die, which you don't want to die, but they will come after you for the prepayment to you.

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jun 2010

that does a good job explaining it. The site is for the state of Alabama, but the general information should be the same everywhere:

Accelerated Life Insurance Benefits

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