FAQs on Cobra and Medicare Coverage for Spouses

Medicare is the federally funded health insurance program serving millions of Americans aged 65 and older, as well as individuals with specific disabilities. Cobra, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, is a federal law that allows employees who lose their health insurance due to job loss or reduction in hours to continue coverage under their employer’s group plan for a limited time, In this blog, we will discuss the specific case of a married couple, where one spouse is on Medicare and exploring coverage options for the other spouse whose Cobra coverage is expiring.

Cobra Coverage and Medicare Enrollment

Generally, an individual cannot be enrolled in Cobra if they are eligible for Medicare. However, there are specific exceptions to this rule. For instance, if an individual is already enrolled in Cobra when they become eligible for Medicare, they can continue their Cobra coverage for an additional 18 months. After that, they must disenroll from Cobra and enroll in Medicare.

Options for Coverage After Cobra Expires

When Cobra coverage expires, individuals have several options. One option is to enroll in Medicare. Another option is to purchase an individual health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Individuals can also explore options for non-ACA coverage.

Medicare Coverage for Spouses

Medicare coverage for spouses is available under certain circumstances. If one spouse is eligible for Medicare and the other spouse is not yet eligible, the ineligible spouse may be able to enroll in a Medicare Part A premium if they meet certain criteria.

Non-ACA Coverage

Non-ACA coverage refers to health insurance plans that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These plans may have lower premiums but may offer less comprehensive coverage. It’s essential to carefully assess the benefits and drawbacks of non-ACA plans before enrolling.


Individuals should carefully consider their coverage options when Cobra coverage expires. There are many factors to take into account, such as eligibility for Medicare, health insurance premiums, and coverage needs. If one finds themselves in a similar situation as the couple mentioned in the post, it is advisable to discuss their options with a licensed health insurance agent to determine the most appropriate coverage solution for their specific needs.

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