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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

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COBRA dental and prescription benefits

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: I was recently terminated from my job and was sent information about COBRA coverage. The medical, dental, and prescription coverages are listed with separate amounts and then added together for one monthly total. What I would like to know is am I able to pay for only prescription and dental coverages and be able to exclude the medical?

A: There is no legal requirement for the employer or the insurer to offer to split the benefits under COBRA, but there is nothing preventing you from asking to continue only part of the benefits. If the health plan allows the benefits enrollment separately, then it might work. Some health plans offer these ancillary benefits only to those who have health insurance, others offer them as "freestanding" dental and prescription plans. If you cannot continue these benefits through COBRA, then see if you can sign up for the dental and prescription discount plan at . The cost is less than $100 for the year, the plans offer a risk-free trial and you need not worry about the pre-existing conditions exclusions found in commercial health and dental insurance plans.


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