COBRA Qualifying Events
Qualifying events are certain events that would cause an individual to lose health coverage. The following are the two events that make an employee with a group plan eligible for COBRA coverage:
- Voluntary or involuntary termination for reasons other than gross misconduct
- Reduction in the number of hours of employment
Your former employer is responsible for notifying you that COBRA continuation coverage is available to you. Normally, you’ll receive a notice no later than 14 days following either of these COBRA qualifying events. You’ll have 60 days to decide whether to sign up.
Deserving or not, COBRA insurance has a reputation for being hard to decipher. Even its name, Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, is complicated.
But acronyms and fine print aside, the purpose of COBRA health insurance is straightforward: temporary continuation of a terminated employee's group coverage for a limited amount of time (usually 18 months). Generally, COBRA is applicable to businesses with 20 or more employees. But, there are some exceptions, so check with your former employer.