What is COBRA continuation health coverage?

Congress passed the landmark Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) health benefit provisions in 1986.  The law enables a paid, continuation of group health coverage that otherwise might be terminated when someone loses their health coverage through their employer.

COBRA provides certain former employees, retirees, spouses, former spouses, and dependent children the right to temporary continuation of health coverage at group rates.  This coverage, however, is only available when coverage is lost due to certain specific “qualifying events”.

Qualifying Events for Employees:

  • Voluntary or involuntary termination of employment for reasons other than gross misconduct
  • Reduction in the number of hours of employment

Qualifying Events for Spouses:

  • Voluntary or involuntary termination of the covered employee’s employment for any reason other than gross misconduct
  • Reduction in the hours worked by the covered employee
  • Covered employee’s becoming entitled to Medicare
  • Divorce or legal separation of the covered employee
  • Death of the covered employee

Qualifying Events for Dependent Children:

  • Loss of dependent child status under the plan rules
  • Voluntary or involuntary termination of the covered employee’s employment for any reason other than gross misconduct
  • Reduction in the hours worked by the covered employee
  • Covered employee’s becoming entitled to Medicare
  • Divorce or legal separation of the covered employee
  • Death of the covered employee

For more information on COBRA and a list of current rates, come into the Central Administration Office, or call from 7:30am-7pm.

Central Administration 305 W. 44th St. New York, NY 10036 (212) 586-6400