While there are similarities between COBRA, OBRA, and Cal-COBRA, the differences exists. The initials for COBRA represent the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, OBRA represents the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, and Cal-COBRA is the programme by the State of California.
COBRA is a programme of the United States Federal Government. COBRA is a form of insurance that allows employees and their families to continue the group health benefits of their plans for a limited time in case of events such as unemployment, termination, divorce, death, and other events dictated by life. It requires employers to extend this temporary coverage and provide notice of it.
According to the United States Department of Labor Website, the individuals who are qualified may be required to pay the entire premium of the group health plan for up to one hundred and two percent of the plan. COBRA is applicable to employers and group health plans that have twenty or more employees.
The duration of COBRA for the employee is between eighteen to thirty six months.
The State of California has a similar version of the Federal programme called COBRA. It is called Cal-COBRA and it functions under certain conditions for residents of California. Cal-COBRA allows employees and families to keep their insurance for up to thirty six months.
Cal-COBRA applies to employers and their group health plans that cover between two to nineteen employees. Cal-COBRA can also be applied to people in California who have used eighteen months of their Federal COBRA program. It must be remembered that COBRA and Cal-COBRA are not free health rides and that premiums must be paid on a timely basis.
According to the State of California Department of Managed Care web page, the following people are ineligible to receive COBRA and Cal-COBRA. They are the people who have been fired for gross misconduct, Medicare Enrollees, and those about to be enrolled in Medicare.
The people who have been negligent in enrolling on time or have not met payment within the alloted time frame are also ineligible for COBRA and Cal-COBRA.
OBRA may be the Spanish word for work or the acronyms of the Oregon Bicycle Riding Association but it is a Federal program for those who are disabled. OBRA was approved by the US Congress in 1989 and allows people who have used their COBRA Benefits to extend their health care coverage beyond COBRA.
The individual who applies for OBRA must be determined by the Social Security Administration to meet the disability provisions within sixty days of qualfiying. The individual must also provide a copy of a letter from the Social Security Administrator within sixty days of receiving the letter.
The beneficiary of OBRA must pay one hundred and fifty percent of their total health insurance premium and coverage may last up to eleven months. Since Medicare begins within thirty months of a disability, there are no gaps in health care coverage if a person has used COBRA and OBRA.
OBRA is not a free ride and people can lose their benefits for the same reason they would lose it under COBRA and Cal-COBRA.