What Are COBRA Benefits?
COBRA (short for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986) is a federal law that allows for continuation of coverage under an employer's group health plan to covered persons (called "qualified beneficiaries") in the event of a qualifying event.
Who is a Qualified Beneficiary?
A qualified beneficiary is an individual who, on the day before the qualifying event, is covered under the Plan either as an employee, enrollee's dependent spouse, or enrollee's dependent child. A qualified beneficiary is also a child born to the employee, or who is placed for adoption with the employee during a period of COBRA continuation coverage.
What is a Qualifying Event?
A qualifying event is an occurrence which, but for the continuation coverage available under the Plan, would result in the loss of coverage for a qualified beneficiary. Under COBRA, qualifying events include the loss of coverage that otherwise would result due to:
▪ Termination of employment, for reasons other than gross misconduct
▪ Reduction in hours of employment
▪ Death of the enrollee
▪ Divorce or legal separation
▪ Entitlement to Medicare
▪ Loss of dependent eligibility
If the qualifying event is divorce, legal separation, or ineligibility of a dependent child, the employee or qualified beneficiary must notify the employee’s employer unit no later than 60 days after the qualifying event occurs; otherwise, continuation coverage may not be made available. Any other enrollee or his qualified beneficiary must notify BCBSMS no later than 60 days after the qualifying event occurs; otherwise, continuation coverage may not be made available.
COBRA Continuation Coverage Checklist:
- A COBRA election form must be completed and returned to Blue Cross &
Blue Shield within 60 days of the date coverage ended or the date of the
notice, whichever is later.
- The first premium payment must be made within 45 days from the date of
election to continue coverage.
- The first payment must include all premiums due for the coverage period
beginning with the COBRA coverage effective date through the current month.
Click here for the full Health Insurance PLAN Document