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COBRA FAQs

Who is eligible for continuation of coverage under COBRA?

Are Newborns and Adopted Children considered "qualified dependents"?

What do I need to do to get my COBRA paperwork?

How soon can I get my COBRA paperwork?

Do I have to pay monthly or can I send in more than one payment at a time?

Can COBRA payments be deducted from 18/20 checks?

When will I get new payments slips?

How much does COBRA cost?

When is my coverage re-instated?

Can a qualifying event result from a voluntary termination of employment?

What Specific Events ("Triggering Events") can be Qualifying Events?

What events are not considered Triggering Events?

When must the employee or qualified beneficiary notify the plan administrator of any triggering events?


Who is eligible for continuation of coverage under COBRA?

Under the statute, a qualified dependent is someone who "is a dependent under the plan" (i.e., is covered under the plan) immediately prior to the qualifying event and who is:

  • The spouse or dependent child of a covered employee.
  • A covered employee (but only if the qualifying event is a termination or reduction in hours of the covered employee's employment.

Are Newborns and Adopted Children considered "qualified dependents"?

Yes. A child who is "born to” or placed for adoption with the covered employee during the period of continuation coverage is also a qualified beneficiary regardless of whether the qualifying event occurred before, on, or after such date if they are enrolled within 30 days of birth or adoption.

What do I need to do to get my COBRA paperwork?

Terminating employees do not have to initiate the COBRA.  You will receive a COBRA notification once your department submits the necessary documentation for termination of your employment. Once this has been done, Human Resources will be notified through a termination report. Termination reports are run weekly.

How soon can I get my COBRA paperwork?

You will receive a COBRA notification once your department submits the necessary documentation for termination of your employment. Once this has been done, Human Resources will be notified through a termination report, generated in our office. Paperwork cannot be sent out more than 30 days before leaving the university.

Do I have to pay monthly or can I send in more than one payment at a time?

You can send in as many payments as you wish for the calendar year.

Can COBRA payments be deducted from 18/20 checks?

No

When will I get new payments slips?

Payment slips are mailed out towards the end of December for the next calendar year. Payment slips for the entire year are mailed out at that time.

How much does COBRA cost?

Refer to the COBRA web page for rates (in the right column).

When is my coverage re-instated?

Coverage is re-instated once your first payment is made. Upon receipt of your first payment, a request for reinstatement is sent to Anthem and Cigna. These requests are sent to Anthem and Cigna on a weekly basis.

Can a qualifying event result from a voluntary termination of employment?

Yes. Apart from gross misconduct, the facts surrounding a termination or reduction of hours are irrelevant. It does not matter whether the employee voluntarily terminated or was discharged.

What Specific Events ("Triggering Events") can be Qualifying Events?

The statute specifies six triggering events that, if they result in a loss of coverage, can be qualifying events:

  • Death of the covered employee;
  • Voluntary or involuntary termination of the covered employee's employment other than by reason of gross misconduct (note that a retirement is considered a termination of employment);
  • Reduction in hours of the covered employee's employment;
  • Divorce of the covered employee from the employee's spouse;
  • Dependent child ceasing to be a dependent child under the generally applicable requirements of the plan; and

What events are not considered Triggering Events?

If an employer terminates a group health plan or amends it to reduce coverage, neither the termination nor the amendment is a qualifying event. The following events are not considered triggering events:

  • A change in insurance carriers. Replacement of one insured health plan with a less generous plan is not a qualified event.
  • Tendering a resignation. Only when an employee actually terminates does a qualifying event occur.
  • Filing for legal separation

When must the employee or qualified beneficiary notify the plan administrator of any triggering events?

The covered employee or qualified beneficiary must notify the plan administrator within 60 days of the occurrence of these triggering events:

  • divorce or legal separation of covered employee from his or her spouse; and
  • dependent child ceasing to be a dependent under the plan.

The proposed regulations expand this rule to provide that the notice period is 60 days after the triggering event or, if later, the date coverage would be lost. "If the notice is not postmarked and sent to the employer or other plan administrator [within the 60 day period], the group health plan does not have to offer the qualified beneficiary the opportunity to elect COBRA continuation coverage."

COBRA web page

COBRA Rates
    2013 | 2014

GME Medical Resident COBRA Rates
    2013

Page updated: 24 November 2008
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