A recent change in a federal rule now allows employees who were laid-off or furloughed more time to decide if they want to pay for COBRA. Having COBRA continuation coverage allows the employee -- and all family members who were previously covered under that insurance -- to continue to receive the same health insurance that was previously provided.
Having COBRA may be particularly helpful for parents with children who have intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) -- especially if they have significant health conditions that necessitate ongoing treatment with specialists who may not be in the network of the managed care plans that are available through NJ FamilyCare or other health insurance.
In the past, workers were allowed 60 days to decide if they wanted to sign up for COBRA. Under the new regulation, the time for deciding about COBRA has been extended to 60 days after the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. At present, there is no indication as to when the COVID-19 public health emergency (which started on March 1st) will be lifted. It should also be noted that COBRA coverage is expensive, and the cost may be too high for some families.