Code Number:009900 Q: My mother in law has been covered by insurance for the past 20+ years. She recently got a new job and her benefits do not kick in until June 21. They offered her COBRA but she declined. This week she went to the hospital with a brain aneurysm and is racking up thousands in bills. Is there a way to back pay in Cobra and get her covered retroactively? Code Number:009900 A: Even if your mom has declined the COBRA she still would have the 60 day time period to change her mind and elect coverage. You should contact the past employer to find out the specific dates involved. If she filled out the forms and sent in a premium payment before the due date then her coverage will be retro active and there would be no lapse. She would just have to resubmit bills at the time when the COBRA policy is in force.