I am planning to quit my job and move to another company. This new company does not offer health insurance for the first 60 days of employment.
As I understand it, federal law requires employers with more than 20 employees to offer COBRA insurance to employees that lose coverage when they quit their job. This is expensive as I will have to cover the full cost of the premiums, I will not receive the employer paid portion. I would like to avoid paying this, or at least minimize my expenses.
It looks like I have 60 days to enroll in COBRA. After that period, I'll be eligible for insurance through my new employer. Can I just not enroll in COBRA and hope I don't need it? If I fall and break my leg, could I then go and enroll and be covered? The DOL site says the coverage is retroactive, so I expect that should be okay, but I'm not sure.
Is there any other risk with this? In the past creating a gap in insurance was dangerous because conditions could become pre-existing, but I think since Obamacare was passed that isn't legal. I don't have any prescriptions or any other persistent issues where I would expect to need a doctor visit.
In summary, am I able to not enroll until I need it, hoping that I don't need it? Are there any downsides I should be aware of?