Information Regarding Health Insurance Continuation Rights

Health insurance continuation rights fall under the provisions of the Consolidated Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA). COBRA was established to ensure that an employee who separates from employment has the ability to continue participating in their employer’s health insurance plan. This may be important for a person who is receiving ongoing treatment or has a pre-existing condition that makes it difficult to qualify for private individual health insurance.

COBRA Notification and Participation

Under COBRA, an employee must be notified within 30 days after leaving employment of their right to continue under the employer’s current health insurance plan. If the former employee elects to do so, they must pay the employer’s premium cost in order to participate, which is 102 percent. The 2 percent is an administrative fee for COBRA.  

COBRA Time Limits and Conditions

The employee is permitted to continue under COBRA for up to 18 months.  In the case where the employee qualifies for social security disability, they are permitted to extend COBRA benefits for an additional 11 months for a total of 29 months, at a cost of 150 percent of the employer’s cost.  A dependent of the employee may continue under COBRA for a total of 36 months.

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