Benefits & Wellness

COBRA Qualifying Events

What is a qualifying event?

To be eligible for COBRA, you must have a qualifying event. Qualifying events are certain events that would cause an individual to lose health coverage under the College's group health plan. The type of qualifying event will determine who qualifies for COBRA coverage and how long they will be entitled to COBRA coverage.

What are some examples of qualifying events?

The following are qualifying events: the death of the covered employee; a covered employee's termination of employment or reduction of the hours of employment; the covered employee becoming entitled to Medicare; divorce or legal separation from the covered employee; or a dependent child ceasing to be eligible for coverage under the College's plan.

How long does COBRA last?

For "covered employees," the only qualifying event is termination of employment (whether the termination is voluntary or involuntary) including by retirement, or reduction of employment hours. In that case, COBRA lasts for 18 months.

If the qualifying event is the death of the covered employee, divorce or legal separation of the covered employee from the covered employee's spouse, or the covered employee becoming entitled to Medicare, COBRA for the spouse or dependent child lasts for 36 months.