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Health insurance during gap between job & school

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Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 05:16
Hey guys! I'm in the process of figuring out when to leave work (thanks to all who've provided fantastic advice on this topic), and had a random thought about health insurance. Not sure if the Obamacare policy is in effect everywhere yet, but as an MA resident I need to be able to prove I had health insurance the whole year. I am planning to have about a month gap between work and business school--any ideas on what I should do for that time? Get an individual policy for the month? Or is there any way the Yale plan could cover me? My parents are both on Medicare at this point, so I'm guessing that means I can't be covered on their policies (even though I am under 26).

I don't have any health issues, but I would prefer to be covered than risk it! Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 05:41
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lb2015 wrote:
Hey guys! I'm in the process of figuring out when to leave work (thanks to all who've provided fantastic advice on this topic), and had a random thought about health insurance. Not sure if the Obamacare policy is in effect everywhere yet, but as an MA resident I need to be able to prove I had health insurance the whole year. I am planning to have about a month gap between work and business school--any ideas on what I should do for that time? Get an individual policy for the month? Or is there any way the Yale plan could cover me? My parents are both on Medicare at this point, so I'm guessing that means I can't be covered on their policies (even though I am under 26).

I don't have any health issues, but I would prefer to be covered than risk it! Any advice would be much appreciated.

A friend suggested getting COBRA. I haven't looked into it much yet, but he said you get the same coverage you had before for a few months, but you pay the entire premium (as opposed to your work subsidizing a portion of it).
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 05:43
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kingfalcon wrote:
lb2015 wrote:
Hey guys! I'm in the process of figuring out when to leave work (thanks to all who've provided fantastic advice on this topic), and had a random thought about health insurance. Not sure if the Obamacare policy is in effect everywhere yet, but as an MA resident I need to be able to prove I had health insurance the whole year. I am planning to have about a month gap between work and business school--any ideas on what I should do for that time? Get an individual policy for the month? Or is there any way the Yale plan could cover me? My parents are both on Medicare at this point, so I'm guessing that means I can't be covered on their policies (even though I am under 26).

I don't have any health issues, but I would prefer to be covered than risk it! Any advice would be much appreciated.

A friend suggested getting COBRA. I haven't looked into it much yet, but he said you get the same coverage you had before for a few months, but you pay the entire premium (as opposed to your work subsidizing a portion of it).


That sounds right. When I left my last job, I had the option to stay on the current health insurance plan for up to a year after I left. I'd just have to pay the whole thing (which is pricey), since the company subsidized the premium amount for employees.
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 05:58
aerien wrote:
kingfalcon wrote:
lb2015 wrote:
Hey guys! I'm in the process of figuring out when to leave work (thanks to all who've provided fantastic advice on this topic), and had a random thought about health insurance. Not sure if the Obamacare policy is in effect everywhere yet, but as an MA resident I need to be able to prove I had health insurance the whole year. I am planning to have about a month gap between work and business school--any ideas on what I should do for that time? Get an individual policy for the month? Or is there any way the Yale plan could cover me? My parents are both on Medicare at this point, so I'm guessing that means I can't be covered on their policies (even though I am under 26).

I don't have any health issues, but I would prefer to be covered than risk it! Any advice would be much appreciated.

A friend suggested getting COBRA. I haven't looked into it much yet, but he said you get the same coverage you had before for a few months, but you pay the entire premium (as opposed to your work subsidizing a portion of it).


That sounds right. When I left my last job, I had the option to stay on the current health insurance plan for up to a year after I left. I'd just have to pay the whole thing (which is pricey), since the company subsidized the premium amount for employees.


Okay, good points! I'll have to check. I am a little scared to see what my plan actually costs...I pay almost nothing now for pretty decent coverage--pretty sure the premium is heavily subsidized. Oh, the American healthcare system...
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 06:00
I do believe you get a 30 day grace period for your insurance after you leave your job (although maybe that varies by company), so it may work out just right with your timing. You could also check with Yale to see when their insurance coverage kicks in, I'm not sure if it starts the first day of orientation or if it might be a little earlier than that.

I also had the same concerns about health insurance as I think I'll probably be taking 6-8 weeks off before school starts. My plan is just to get COBRA so that I don't have any lapse in coverage (which can definitely make taxes messy), but COBRA is significantly more expensive than what most people are used to paying - I've heard quotes of $600-$800 a month from some people.
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 06:04
Cobra can be purchased retroactively, so if you leave your job in may and get hurt in July you can still use cobra. You just have to pay the premium for June and July. I'm planning on going without insurance for a month or less and using cobra if something catastrophic happens.

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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 07:13
Okay, good points. The problem for me is that MA residents are required to have health insurance every single day of the year or else pay a penalty, so it probably just makes sense to purchase it in advance. I think I was able to find my full health insurance premium on our website, and luckily it looks to be lower than that range. Also, it looks like my company's coverage ends on the last day of the month you leave, so there's a big incentive to have your last day at the beginning of the month! Erghh my new idea about leaving at the end of June might not be as wise as I thought.

I left a message at Yale's student services office, so I'll update on here once I hear from them on health insurance.
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 07:19
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lb2015 wrote:
Okay, good points. The problem for me is that MA residents are required to have health insurance every single day of the year or else pay a penalty, so it probably just makes sense to purchase it in advance. I think I was able to find my full health insurance premium on our website, and luckily it looks to be lower than that range. Also, it looks like my company's coverage ends on the last day of the month you leave, so there's a big incentive to have your last day at the beginning of the month! Erghh my new idea about leaving at the end of June might not be as wise as I thought.

I left a message at Yale's student services office, so I'll update on here once I hear from them on health insurance.

FYI, here's some info about the MA penalties if you don't have insurance. It seems like it could still be a wise financial decision to forgo insurance through COBRA unless you actually need it.

What are the penalties?

The 2012 tax penalties for adults above 300% of the federal poverty level are based on half the cost of the lowest priced Commonwealth Choice plan. They are:

$83 each month or $996 for an entire year for individuals aged 18-26 earning more than $32,676
$105 each month or $1,260 for the year for individuals 27 or older earning more than $32,676
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 07:25
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kingfalcon wrote:
lb2015 wrote:
Okay, good points. The problem for me is that MA residents are required to have health insurance every single day of the year or else pay a penalty, so it probably just makes sense to purchase it in advance. I think I was able to find my full health insurance premium on our website, and luckily it looks to be lower than that range. Also, it looks like my company's coverage ends on the last day of the month you leave, so there's a big incentive to have your last day at the beginning of the month! Erghh my new idea about leaving at the end of June might not be as wise as I thought.

I left a message at Yale's student services office, so I'll update on here once I hear from them on health insurance.

FYI, here's some info about the MA penalties if you don't have insurance. It seems like it could still be a wise financial decision to forgo insurance through COBRA unless you actually need it.

What are the penalties?

The 2012 tax penalties for adults above 300% of the federal poverty level are based on half the cost of the lowest priced Commonwealth Choice plan. They are:

$83 each month or $996 for an entire year for individuals aged 18-26 earning more than $32,676
$105 each month or $1,260 for the year for individuals 27 or older earning more than $32,676


Thanks for looking this up, kingfalcon! I also just checked the MA department of revenue and found the following (http://www.mass.gov/dor/individuals/tax ... ls.html#18):

Is there a grace period for people who have a gap in coverage?

Yes, individuals can have up to three consecutive months without penalty. Thus, taxpayers who lose but then resume their coverage within three or fewer consecutive calendar months will not be subject to penalties for lack of health insurance coverage.


So, no penalty for gaps under 3 months--perfect! Okay, time for me to schedule a doctor's, dentist's, and eye appointment ASAP and get into gear. Thanks to everyone who helped me figure this out.
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 09:07
lb2015 wrote:
kingfalcon wrote:
lb2015 wrote:
Okay, good points. The problem for me is that MA residents are required to have health insurance every single day of the year or else pay a penalty, so it probably just makes sense to purchase it in advance. I think I was able to find my full health insurance premium on our website, and luckily it looks to be lower than that range. Also, it looks like my company's coverage ends on the last day of the month you leave, so there's a big incentive to have your last day at the beginning of the month! Erghh my new idea about leaving at the end of June might not be as wise as I thought.

I left a message at Yale's student services office, so I'll update on here once I hear from them on health insurance.

FYI, here's some info about the MA penalties if you don't have insurance. It seems like it could still be a wise financial decision to forgo insurance through COBRA unless you actually need it.

What are the penalties?

The 2012 tax penalties for adults above 300% of the federal poverty level are based on half the cost of the lowest priced Commonwealth Choice plan. They are:

$83 each month or $996 for an entire year for individuals aged 18-26 earning more than $32,676
$105 each month or $1,260 for the year for individuals 27 or older earning more than $32,676


Thanks for looking this up, kingfalcon! I also just checked the MA department of revenue and found the following (http://www.mass.gov/dor/individuals/tax ... ls.html#18):

Is there a grace period for people who have a gap in coverage?

Yes, individuals can have up to three consecutive months without penalty. Thus, taxpayers who lose but then resume their coverage within three or fewer consecutive calendar months will not be subject to penalties for lack of health insurance coverage.


So, no penalty for gaps under 3 months--perfect! Okay, time for me to schedule a doctor's, dentist's, and eye appointment ASAP and get into gear. Thanks to everyone who helped me figure this out.

Ah, awesome! Thanks for sharing that. Good to know I won't get penalized after all if I go without for a month or so!
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 09:24
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You ABSOLUTELY should have health coverage. Any break in coverage can be VERY detrimental down the line. What happens is the new insurance company can try to claim that the issue began while you were off insurance and is therefore not their responsibility. Although Obamacare is supposed to prevent the claims from pre-existing conditions, I don't believe this goes into effect until 2014. Don't let insurance companies be any more of a headache than they already are. COBRA, when I paid it, was about $350 per month. It was pretty reasonable.

The other thing to keep in mind is that if you work until June 2, your organization will have paid for the entire month of June for you. This means you pretty much only need July.

I called Yale's health care services people about starting coverage early. They issued an unequivocal NO. :(
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 09:35
machichi wrote:
You ABSOLUTELY should have health coverage. Any break in coverage can be VERY detrimental down the line. What happens is the new insurance company can try to claim that the issue began while you were off insurance and is therefore not their responsibility. Although Obamacare is supposed to prevent the claims from pre-existing conditions, I don't believe this goes into effect until 2014. Don't let insurance companies be any more of a headache than they already are. COBRA, when I paid it, was about $350 per month. It was pretty reasonable.

The other thing to keep in mind is that if you work until June 2, your organization will have paid for the entire month of June for you. This means you pretty much only need July.

I called Yale's health care services people about starting coverage early. They issued an unequivocal NO. :(


Okay, good point! Definitely something to think about. Ughhh not a fan of our healthcare system...
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 09:50
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lb2015 wrote:
machichi wrote:
You ABSOLUTELY should have health coverage. Any break in coverage can be VERY detrimental down the line. What happens is the new insurance company can try to claim that the issue began while you were off insurance and is therefore not their responsibility. Although Obamacare is supposed to prevent the claims from pre-existing conditions, I don't believe this goes into effect until 2014. Don't let insurance companies be any more of a headache than they already are. COBRA, when I paid it, was about $350 per month. It was pretty reasonable.

The other thing to keep in mind is that if you work until June 2, your organization will have paid for the entire month of June for you. This means you pretty much only need July.

I called Yale's health care services people about starting coverage early. They issued an unequivocal NO. :(


Okay, good point! Definitely something to think about. Ughhh not a fan of our healthcare system...


Assuming Yale's insurance starts Aug 1 (I haven't really looked into it yet), maybe you can make your last day July 1 instead of June 28? Weird date to end on per se, but the insurance issue would be covered :)
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 09:58
aerien wrote:
lb2015 wrote:
machichi wrote:
You ABSOLUTELY should have health coverage. Any break in coverage can be VERY detrimental down the line. What happens is the new insurance company can try to claim that the issue began while you were off insurance and is therefore not their responsibility. Although Obamacare is supposed to prevent the claims from pre-existing conditions, I don't believe this goes into effect until 2014. Don't let insurance companies be any more of a headache than they already are. COBRA, when I paid it, was about $350 per month. It was pretty reasonable.

The other thing to keep in mind is that if you work until June 2, your organization will have paid for the entire month of June for you. This means you pretty much only need July.

I called Yale's health care services people about starting coverage early. They issued an unequivocal NO. :(


Okay, good point! Definitely something to think about. Ughhh not a fan of our healthcare system...


Assuming Yale's insurance starts Aug 1 (I haven't really looked into it yet), maybe you can make your last day July 1 instead of June 28? Weird date to end on per se, but the insurance issue would be covered :)



Ahh, if only my friend's wedding wasn't that weekend before! Really don't want to fly out west for just the weekend if I can avoid it.
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 10:08
bleh, COBRA, no thank you. Officially staying until July.

On a side note, MA may give you a break on being uninsured for 1 month... You wont know until tax time unfortunately, but I was uninsured for 2 months back in 09 with no penalty.
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 10:11
This discussion makes me think that simply crossing my figers during the summer is a bad idea.
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 10:14
CobraKai wrote:
This discussion makes me think that simply crossing my figers during the summer is a bad idea.


All you need is some super glue and duct tape, rub some dirt on it, you'll be fine
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2013, 17:43
highwyre237 wrote:
CobraKai wrote:
This discussion makes me think that simply crossing my figers during the summer is a bad idea.


All you need is some super glue and duct tape, rub some dirt on it, you'll be fine


I hope there are plenty of boy/girlscouts in school...hahaha.

I just saw this on the Yale admitted student portal: "Yale Health provides basic primary care at no cost to you through clinics at the Yale Health building located just a few blocks from SOM. You will be enrolled automatically; there is no enrollment form. Coverage begins on the first day of Orientation."

So um yeah, no coverage until August 7...unless you're invited to math camp starting August 5?
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Re: Health insurance during gap between job & school   [#permalink] 05 Apr 2013, 17:43
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