What is COBRA? FAQ

COBRA – Frequently Asked Questions


What is COBRA?

  • COBRA is an acronym for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985.

Why should I care about COBRA?

  • COBRA is the law that congress passed that allows you to keep your health insurance even after you separate from your employer.

What plans are subject to COBRA?

  • Nearly all group heal plans. Its best to check with your employers HR department regarding this.

How does COBRA work?

  • When you separate from your employer by law you have the right to choose to continue your work health benefits.

What if I only lost health coverage due to a reduction in hours worked?

  • If you have lost your health benefits due to a reduction in hours you may be able to utilize COBRA. Please consult your employers HR department.

How long will I be able to keep my COBRA coverage?

  • Typically allow coverage for up to 18 months in most cases.
  • Up to 36 months for spouses due to a spousal death, divorce or legal separation.

When do I have to sign up for COBRA?

  • You have 60 days from the day of separation from your employer.

Is COBRA expensive?

  • Your employer most likely is not subsidizing the coverage like when you were an employee. For this reason the cost to you as an individual is typically much higher.

Can I get COBRA even if I quit?

  • Yes, whether you quit or are involuntarily separated from your employer you are eligible for COBRA.
  • Only exception is that the separation is due to gross misconduct.

Do I have to use COBRA?

  • No, due to the costs associated with non subsidized health insurance it may be financially beneficial to look at other independent health care providers or through the healthcare.gov portal.