COVID 19 Resources Part 2
Now that it’s been a little over a year since we were introduced to the pandemic and turned everyone’s world upside down, we are slowly getting to some sense of normalcy hopefully. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some resources for anyone who may be struggling and give an overview of COBRA.
COBRA, which stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, allows you to continue your coverage with your employer after you leave your job or are laid off. This comes at a cost however as you will be required to pay your monthly premiums. Not all states have a mandate that requires employers to offer the option, and small business employers are usually not required to offer COBRA, specifically the definition is employers that have less than 20 employees in most states.
Here are a couple of examples in two different states of what these premiums would look like to continue your coverage:
- 2021 PEBB Continuation Coverage Monthly Premiums (wa.gov)
- COBRA continuation coverage | ERS (texas.gov)
Below is a link to more information about COBRA:
When considering COBRA, if your employer doesn’t offer COBRA, or when your COBRA ends, another option I would recommend is to see if you qualify for a special enrollment period and short-term insurance with plans from the exchange. The open enrollment period for plans on the exchange open November 1st, so if you find yourself without insurance during any period before or after open enrollment you can review the qualifying life events to see if you meet any of the criteria.
Here's What Counts as a Health Insurance Qualifying Life Event (healthcareinsider.com)
Mutual Aid Network - Free Resource
One of the organizations that I’ve recently been introduced to via social media is Mutual Aid Network, available in many communities nationwide. If you or someone you know is struggling with resources (food, picking up prescriptions, dog walking, etc.), or if you want to volunteer your time, you can head to www.mutualaidhub.org to sign up to ask for help or volunteer. With the pandemic, this organization expanded programs are worth looking into. Please note this organization is not similar to GoFundMe or other crowdfunding platforms.
COVID Informational Resources
Lastly, it’s been easy to get inundated with many sources of information about Covid and also particularly difficult to get information about where to get vaccines. Some of the resources below have been helpful for me, as well as reaching out to your PCP:
- Vaccines.gov - Find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you
- Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) - Public Health (va.gov)
- Healthcare And Medical Assistance | Benefits.gov
- Coronavirus resources | Benefits.gov