COBRA and Medicare: Know the Basics

Over the last few weeks, we have seen a handful of people who have unknowingly made a crucial Medicare mistake.  Currently, there seems to be plenty of confusion surrounding Medicare & COBRA. In fact, most employers don’t know whether to suggest their employees’ COBRA or Medicare or a combination of both. Very few people know that COBRA & Medicare don’t go well together.

In case you’re considering an enrollment in COBRA & are also interested in the benefits offered by Medicare, it’s crucial to know how the eligibility of your Medicare will influence your COBRA coverage.  Without any doubt, COBRA can be a great option for the right individual. COBRA is a health-care policy which offers coverage for individuals when they’re leaving an employer coverage which has over 20 employees.

Among the major challenges with the coverage under COBRA is that although a person can stay with COBRA even after the age of 65, it fails to meet all the guidelines under Medicare.  The thing is, most companies avoid mentioning to their staff that by registering for COBRA their Medicare policy coverage might be delayed for as many as 15-months & these delays may result in Medicare penalties which apply for the lifetime if a person misses their timeline.

SEP and Medicare:

SEP occurs whenever a person participates in Medicare past the age of 65. Typically, SEP happens when a person leaves their employer plan. For qualification, your company completes a form which states you won’t be working anymore & that your insurance period will be terminating. Here, you’ll become eligible for Medicare with all the rights that first-time joiners have.  But, after the termination of COBRA coverage, there is nobody to finish this paperwork mentioning that you’ll be leaving the employer coverage since you’re technically terminating a COBRA plan. So, you won’t be eligible for SEP. Get an Aetna supplement plan for 2019 at

Now, as long as you first participate in Medicare, you’ll be able to get COBRA coverage. Even in case you decide to purchase Part A only.  Not having enough information about how the eligibility for Medicare works, irrespective of whether you’re enrolled or not, might affect how the other benefits & also increase your final costs if you fail to get the appropriate advice.