Overview on COBRA Coverage

COBRA Overview

Let’s Talk about COBRA!

COBRA coverage allows employees to keep their healthcare coverage under their employer’s group plan after they experience a qualifying event that would result in loss of coverage.

COBRA Requirements

Generally, companies that employ at least 20 people for more than half of its business days during the previous year must offer continuing coverage. COBRA also applies to group health plans sponsored by most state and local governments.

Some plans, like those sponsored by the Federal Government or by churches and church-related organizations, are not required to offer COBRA coverage.

Types of Qualifying Events

A qualifying event that could make you lose your group insurance include:

  • Job loss (for reasons other than gross misconduct)
  • Reduced work hours
  • Divorce or legal separation from the covered employee
  • Covered employee becomes eligible for Medicare
  • Death of the covered employee

Qualifying for COBRA

To be eligible for COBRA, you must have been covered by your employer’s group plan before the qualifying event. This rule also applies to your dependents (spouse and/or children).

Paying for COBRA

You (or your dependents) pay for COBRA. If the employer subsidized part of the premium (paid for part), you must pay that amount as well as your share.

Shop Around

You do not have to elect COBRA. You can shop around for other insurance coverage, including on exchanges setup by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

COBRA Coverage Length

Your employer must give you a minimum of 60 days to choose whether or not to elect COBRA insurance. You can even decline coverage, then change your mind and revoke the waiver, as long as you make your acceptance decision within the election time frame. Coverage begins on the day you elect.

COBRA coverage lasts a maximum of 18 months. In some cases, you can get an 18 month extension (total 36 months).

Coverage Options

As long as you were covered under the specific plan – health, vision, dental, etc. – you can pick and choose which coverages to keep. You can also choose who continues to receive coverage if you have dependents on your plan.

Learn More from This Fun Video!


Additional Information about COBRA Coverage

For more information about COBRA, check out these blogs from the Captain:

  • COBRA Insurance: 5 Important Things to Know – When it comes to employer-sponsored group health plans, COBRA insurance acts as a safety net for American workers. If you have a qualifying event that causes you to lose coverage, COBRA makes sure that you can stay insured. Qualifying events include job loss, reduction in hours, and divorce from the covered employee, among others.
  • Introducing COBRA and Betty the Benefactress! – On a recent adventure, I came across another like-minded person who shares not only a love for form-fitting leotards, but also sharing knowledge about COBRA with people. Introducing Betty the Benefactress!

Visit the US Department of Labor’s website for even more information on COBRA.