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I left my job, and went on COBRA. I started a new job, but the health insurance offered at the new job is a worse value than the COBRA coverage. I'm still eligible for COBRA, right?

They happily take my money and tell me I'm covered – but I don't want to find out I'm ineligible after they get a $40K medical bill and try to find any way not to pay it.

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Yes and No.

See Q14 on this following Dept of Labor page: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-consumer-cobra.html

In particular, note:

Coverage begins on the date that coverage would otherwise have been lost by reason of a qualifying event and will end at the end of the maximum period. It may end earlier if:... After the COBRA election, coverage is obtained with another employer group health plan that does not contain any exclusion or limitation with respect to any pre-existing condition of such beneficiary.

The max coverage you can get is 18 months (under some circumstances 36 months), but make sure to review the limitations/possible reasons for it ending earlier that are described on that page. Your HR/benefits person can advise you - I'd certainly touch base with them.

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  • It looks like I should be good as long as I don't go onto my other offering (which I haven't) then...
    – Tom
    Nov 3, 2011 at 1:10

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