The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) was signed into law in 1986 requiring certain employers who sponsor group health plans to offer their employees and their families continuation of coverage at group rates that otherwise would have been forfeited under certain situations. The Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare regulates the COBRA laws.
For more information, visit the United States Department of Labor website.
COBRA Contact Information
Florida Blue COBRA
Note: You may have the right to elect COBRA continuation coverage if you lose group health coverage for any of the following reasons:
Qualifying events for a Covered Employee:
- Termination of employment (for reasons other than gross misconduct)
- Reduction in hours that makes the employee ineligible for benefits
Qualifying events for a Covered Spouse:
- Termination of your spouse's employment (for reasons other than gross misconduct)
- Reduction in your spouse's hours that makes him/her ineligible for benefits
- Death of your spouse
- Divorce from your spouse
- Your spouse becomes entitled to Medicare
Qualifying events for Covered Dependent Children:
- Termination of the employee's employment (for reasons other than gross misconduct)
- Reduction in employee's hours that makes him/her ineligible for benefits
- Death of the employee
- Parent's divorce
- Employee becomes entitled to Medicare
- You cease to be a "dependent child" under the terms of the health plan (see Family Status Changes)
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a person become eligible for COBRA continuation coverage?
To be eligible for COBRA coverage, you must have been enrolled in your employer's group health plan when you worked. COBRA is available upon the occurrence of a qualifying even that would, except for the COBRA continuation coverage, cause an individual to lose his or her health care coverage.
What benefits are covered under COBRA?
COBRA coverage is offered for health, dental and vision. An employee who has any of these insurances one day prior to termination, is entitled to continue the same coverage under COBRA.
How & when is the employee notified that their health care coverage has or will terminate?
The Employee Benefits Department is notified by Personnel Services of an employee's termination. Once the termination has been processed, the insurance carriers will be notified to send a COBRA election form to the employee.
What are the monthly premiums for COBRA and where does the employee send their premium payments?
The premium is based on the type and level of coverage the employee currently has (ie: BC/BS Family coverage). The premium will consist of the employee's portion, the employers' portion and a 2% administrative fee. The payments are to be made to the handling agency (e.g., WageWorks, Infinisource, etc.).
What happens to health care coverage the day the employee terminates their position?
The date of termination will determine when coverage will terminate. If an employee terminates between the 1st and the 15th of the month, coverage will terminate at the end of that month. If an employee terminates the 16th or after, coverage will terminate the end of the next month.
Exception: An employee who works through the end of their contract (May or June, depending on the position), will have coverage through September 30.
How long is COBRA coverage available?
An employee, spouse and dependent children are entitled to 18 months of continuous coverage if the qualifying event is due to termination or reduction of hours. Some dependents may be entitled to an additional 18 months of coverage. (See Family Status Changes for more information.)