My wife had a company and I was the only employee. She just passed away. What are my health insurance options?
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Asked July 3, 2012
The first thing that needs to be explained is that group insurance is not available for a single person. In order to qualify for group health insurance rates, there must be at least 2 people in the group plan. In your situation, this means that the group policy will be terminated, most likely at the next annual review of the policy.
Next, COBRA insurance is only available for group insurance plans with at least 2 members. You may be able to contact he insurance company and convert your group plan to an individual policy, but you will have to pay the individual health insurance rates. Otherwise, your policy is going to be canceled at the next annual review and there will not be a COBRA option available.
If you were on an individual health insurance plan, and listed as the dependent on the policy, you will have the option of continuing the coverage, but you will be charged rates to fit your age and health, rather than the rates being based on your wife's information. This could cost you higher rates or it could result in lower rates, the only way to find out is to talk with the insurance company.
In your situation, the best recourse might be to seek group coverage through other avenues. Group health insurance is available through many clubs and organizations, including both AAA and AARP. If you belong to an organization that provides group health insurance, that would save you money over an individual plan and bypass any restrictions regarding your age or preexisting conditions.
Answered July 3, 2012 by Anonymous