Kaiser Permanente Conversion Plans
If you are losing your Kaiser Permanente group health insurance, there are four main options that could work well for you: a Kaiser Permanente private health plan, COBRA, HIPAA, or a Kaiser Permanente Conversion Plan. The least expensive choice is an independent plan, unless you have a pre-existing condition that disqualifies you for coverage. In that situation, consider one of the other three alternatives. COBRA, HIPAA, and a Kaiser Permanente Conversion Plans are more pricy than private insurance, but they are still attractive options because you cannot be denied for pre-existing conditions. See below for pros and cons.
Conversion Plans vs. Other Health Plan Options
Conversion coverage tends to be better than COBRA because your policy can stay in force indefinitely. This is important, especially for people who need ongoing medical services. With COBRA, you have a maximum coverage period of 18 to 36 months only, so at the end of the COBRA term, you would have to shop for health coverage again. On a conversion policy, there’s no designated end point, so you have more control.
COBRA coverage could trump a Conversion Plan if you worked for a large company. Then, your COBRA premium may well be more cost-effective than for a conversion policy. Additionally, your COBRA benefits could be more comprehensive, depending on the particular policy that your company offered. Having solid benefits would be especially important if you are undergoing treatments.
Kaiser Permanente Conversion Plans and Kaiser Permanente HIPAA will offer you the same plans; however, the conversion option is better than HIPAA in that the application process is simpler and speedier. With HIPAA, underwriting requires extra paperwork, so it generally takes longer to process.
How does the Kaiser Permanente Conversion Plan work?
You must apply within 63 days from when the group plan ends. You may enroll for one of two health plans: the $25 Copayment Plan and the $30/1500 Deductible Plan. The $25 Copayment Plan costs more but it also gives you better benefits because you pay less for medical services and there is no deductible. The $30/1500 Deductible Plan is subject to a $1500 deductible, but the benefits tend to be sufficient for people who don’t frequent the hospital. Also, the price is lower than the copayment option.