When should an employee be notified of their COBRA rights?
All participants and their beneficiaries of the group health plan must be informed about their COBRA rights when they are first covered by the plan. Each time a qualifying event (such as a divorce, legal separation, a death, loss of dependent status) occurs that would make a worker or a qualified beneficiary lose their insurance, an employer has within 45 days to offer a continuation of the same health plan they had when the policy was in full force.
A qualified beneficiary must notify either the employer or the plan administrator no more than 60 days after the qualifying event to elect COBRA or formerly waive their right.
Employer Responsibilities To COBRA
Employers are legally obligated to ensure all steps in the COBRA process are met. This includes notifying employees of their right to choose COBRA after workplace separation. As well as collecting premium payments. Find out more in the Employer’s Guide To COBRA on our website.
Beneficiaries On The Plan Qualify For COBRA
The administrator or employers are not expected to be aware of familial qualifying events that effect dependents of the group plan. It’s important that the person who holds the insurance be in communication about divorce, separation or loss of dependent status with the workplace’s health plan administrator.
When COBRA Is Unavailable Or Too Expensive
If you are fairly healthy and still want to remain insured, alternatives to COBRA insurance may be available based on where you live. Short-term health insurance is a popular option and available in most states. This can protect you from high medical costs of new injuries or new illnesses that unexpectedly occur while allowing you to use any licensed doctor. Coverage is available up to $1 million per person.
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