The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) is a federal law that gives employees and their families who lose health benefits the ability to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances, such as:

  • Voluntary or involuntary job loss
  • Reduction in hours worked
  • Transition between jobs
  • Death, divorce and other life events

  • Covered Employers

    Covered EmployersIf you offer a group health plan and employ 20 or more people, you must extend federal COBRA rights to continue benefits under the plan to all qualified beneficiaries.  More »

  • Covered Employees

    Covered EmployeesA covered employee is any individual provided coverage on the day before a qualifying event under a group health plan as a result of performing services for the covered employer.  More »

  • Qualifying Events and Extending COBRA Coverage

    Qualifying Events and Extending COBRA CoverageA qualifying event under COBRA is an event that would result in an individual losing group health coverage.   More »

  • Denying and Terminating COBRA Coverage

    Denying and Terminating COBRA CoverageGross misconduct provides a basis for denying COBRA coverage to the employee and to the employee's dependents.   More »

  • COBRA Coverage Must Equal Active Employees Coverage

    COBRA Coverage Must Equal Active Employees CoverageCOBRA requires that coverage, in terms of benefits, deductibles and coverage limits, be identical to similarly situated active plan participants.   More »

  • Converting a Group Policy to an Individual Policy

    Converting a Group Policy to an Individual PolicyState law generally requires both insurance companies and HMOs to allow group health plan participants, whose coverage under a group plan is terminated for a reason other than nonpayment of premiums.  More »

  • COBRA Notice Requirements

    COBRA Notice RequirementsFederal law requires you to notify an employee of COBRA rights both at the time he/she becomes covered by a plan covered by COBRA and at the time of a qualifying event.  More »

  • Electing COBRA Coverage

    Electing COBRA CoverageThe employee has 60 days in which to elect or waive COBRA coverage.   More »

  • Paying for COBRA Coverage

    Paying for COBRA CoverageThe initial premium is due within 45 days of the date a qualified beneficiary elects COBRA coverage, retroactively paying for time elapsed during the election period.  More »

  • COBRA Interaction With Other Laws

    COBRA Interaction With Other LawsThis section discusses how the following laws can interact with COBRA: Cal-COBRA, Family Medical Leave and Medicare.  More »

  • Prohibited Acts and Penalties

    Prohibited Acts and PenaltiesYou cannot reduce or eliminate health coverage in anticipation of a qualifying event. If you do so, the qualified beneficiary may be entitled to the benefit that would otherwise be lost.   More »