Q: My employment with a previous employer ended 12/31/2005. The employer continued to provide benefits, including medical coverage, to me thru 3/31/2006. Cobra started 4/1/2006. The 18 months coverage period, is it from 4/1/2006, when Cobra coverage started or is it 18 months from the end of employment (Qualifiying Event)? A: The 18 months begins on the date that your group health benefits end due to the qualifying event.