COBRA is the acronym for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. This federal law allows people to continue their health benefits, provided by a company's group plan, if they lose those benefits. Employees and their families can purchase benefits for the specified period of time allowed by COBRA.

Group benefits allowed under COBRA are medical, prescription drug, vision and dental. Benefits that are not included under COBRA are group life and disability.

Employers Who Must Comply with COBRA

Employers Who Must Comply with COBRA
Generally, employers who employed 20 or more employees on a typical business day during the preceding calendar year must comply with COBRA on the first day of January. The number of employees includes full and part-time employees, owners and officers.

Employees and Other Individuals who must be Offered COBRA

Employees and Other Individuals who must be Offered COBRA
An employee, their spouse, ex-spouse and children who are or were covered under the group health plan must be offered COBRA. A person who was covered under the employer's group health plan for at least one day before a Qualifying Event is considered a Qualified Beneficiary. This also includes children, born or adopted by the COBRA Beneficiary during their COBRA coverage. 

COBRA Beneficiaries, Qualifying Events and Maximum Coverage Period 
When a COBRA Beneficiary experiences a Qualifying Event then they are eligible to purchase COBRA coverage up to the Maximum Coverage Period.

The Department of Labor site allows you to query for COBRA related issues and a host of other benefits related topics.

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