Q: Do I have to wait until my employer sends information about cobra coverage, or can I enroll online? Does the 45 days begin after separation? A: Your previous employer is required under COBRA federal law to mail you the COBRA packet with in 45 days from your last day of work or the last day of group benefits, which ever is later. COBRA continuation is retro-active to your last day of work or the day when the benefits ended. You will not have a lapse in coverage. You will need to mail back the election form with in 60 days. Some plan administrators allow you to enroll by phone or internet once you receive the election form.