COBRA

COBRA FUNDAMENTALS

  1. Who qualifies for COBRA? You qualify for COBRA if you work for a private sector, state or local government employer that offers a group health insurance plan, with at least 20 employees covered under the plan.
  2. When you leave your employer under a qualifying event, you may apply for a continuation of coverage for up to 18 months under your former employer’s group health plan. Your employer must notify you of your COBRA benefits within 30 days, and you must accept these benefits within 60 days after you leave your employer.
  3. What is a qualifying event? A qualifying event is when you lose your job through a voluntary or involuntary termination of employment for any reason other than “gross misconduct.” A reduction in the number of hours of your employment would also be considered a qualifying event.
  4. How much will I pay for my coverage? Your monthly premium will be 102% of the premium paid by your former employer.
  5. What happens after 18 months on COBRA? Once you complete your 18 months of COBRA you may be eligible for State continuation coverage such as Cal COBRA, which will give you an additional 18 months of coverage.

WHAT ARE MY ALTERNATIVES TO GOING ON COBRA?

  1. You are employed (within 60 days) by another company that offers group health coverage.
  2. You obtain your own individual health insurance coverage for you and your dependents.
  3. Why should I obtain my own individual health insurance coverage? In most States, especially California, the cost of COBRA coverage is usually more expensive than individual coverage (remember this is what your former employer actually paid for your coverage).