What is Cal-COBRA?
Cal-COBRA is California law that has similar provisions to federal COBRA. With Cal-COBRA the group policy must be in force with 2-19 employees covered on at least 50 percent of its working days during:
- the preceding calendar year, or,
- the preceding calendar quarter, if the employer was not in business during any part of the preceding calendar year.
Eligibility for Cal-COBRA extends to indemnity policies, PPOs, and HMOs only. Self-insured plans are not eligible. Unlike COBRA, church plans are eligible under Cal-COBRA. Cal-COBRA does not apply to individual health insurance.
As of January 1, 2003, the extension period for Cal-COBRA has been changed from 18 months to 36 months. If you become eligible for Cal-COBRA after January 1, 2003, you will have the benefit of Cal-COBRA coverage for a full 36 months instead of the prior 18-month coverage extension.
Who Regulates Cal-COBRA?
Cal-COBRA is jointly regulated by the CDI and the DMHC depending upon the type of group coverage (indemnity or HMO).