Overview of COBRA

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  1. Eligibility – If enrolled in a group health plan, you may continue coverage for up to 18 months upon termination of employment. The enrolled and each family member enrolled on the group health plan has a right to elect coverage independently.
  2. Cost – Most employers do not pay anything toward the cost of COBRA. The insured pays the true cost of the health insurance without any subsidization from the employer. Employees may find this to be expensive and possibly unaffordable (See options for short-term or individual coverage, rates may be substantially less than COBRA).
  3. Acceptance / Enrollment – Upon termination of employment, employers should send you a notice of your rights and cost to continue coverage within 14 days. You have 60 days to accept COBRA or your right to continue coverage is forfeited.
  4. Payment – You must make your monthly payment in a timely manner. There is a 31 day grace period.

COBRA rules cover employers with more than 20 employees. Employers with 20 or fewer employees follow State Continuation rules. These are different than COBRA.

There are special circumstances where an insured may qualify for up to 36 months of coverage. It may be best to consult with a professional to help you understand your unique situation.

If you lost your job and are having to choose among COBRA and other options, we are available to help answer your questions about your rights and possible more affordable options. Call us at 920-731-2100.

  Month 1Month 2Month 3Month 4Month 5-18
Qualifying event occurs. Employer must send out the COBRA QE notification within 14 days of being notified. (Notification)
14 Days
COBRA beneficiary has 60 days to elect COBRA. (Decision) 60 Days
COBRA beneficiary has 45 days to pay the COBRA initial premium.     (Payment) 45 Days
COBRA beneficiary has a 30 day grace period to pay the monthly COBRA premium.         (Mo. Premiums)
30 Days

* This is a general overview of COBRA rules. For more in-depth information, contact us.