Benefits & Wellness

COBRA Overview & Eligibility

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits due to a qualifying event the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by the College for a limited period of time. For more information on qualifying events, see the Qualifying Events section.

A qualified beneficiary is an individual who is entitled to COBRA continuation coverage because he or she was covered by a group health plan on the day before a "qualifying event." Depending on the circumstances, the following individuals may be qualified beneficiaries: a "covered employee" (a term that includes active employees, terminated employees and retirees); a covered employee's spouse and dependent children; any child born to or placed for adoption with a covered employee during the period of COBRA coverage.

Under COBRA coverage, the employee or dependent can temporarily continue to receive coverage under the College's plan by paying the COBRA rate, which represents the full cost of the elected insurance plans plus a 2% service fee. The COBRA rate is greater than the rate active employees pay for insurance because the College does not contribute to the rate.

If an employee or dependent chooses to elect COBRA, the employee or dependent can request special enrollment in another group health plan or the Marketplace once COBRA is exhausted. In order to exhaust COBRA coverage, the individual must receive the maximum period of COBRA coverage available without early termination. If an employee or dependent chooses to terminate COBRA coverage early with no special enrollment opportunity at that time, they will have to wait until the next open enrollment period to enroll in other coverage through another group health plan.

Employee's Guide to Health Benefits Under COBRA

FAQ's on COBRA Continuation Health Coverage for Workers

For more information on COBRA coverage, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's website.