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Will I Be Able To Extend COBRA Past 18 Months?

My job terminated and I applied for COBRA as soon as I became eligible based on the termination event. My understanding is that my COBRA coverage is available for 18 months. My question: Is it possible to apply for an extension of this insurance group coverage through COBRA for any additional time, such as an additional 6, 12, or 18 months?

The maximum amount of time an employee can continue on COBRA is 18 months. However, a qualified dependent may be able to obtain another 18 months for a total of 36 months if a second qualifying event should occur. 

Here are other ways that a person would be able to extend their COBRA coverage:

  1. In the event that you become disabled, you are eligible for an additional 11 months. The total coverage time would be up to 29 months. You must be determined by the Social Security Administration to be disabled to qualify for this extension.
  2. If at any time during the continuation coverage you encountered another qualifying event. Generally, multiple qualifying events are subject to the spouse and/or dependents. Here is a list of events:
    • Death of covered employee
    • Employee’s entitlement to Medicare
    • Divorce or legal separation from the covered employee
    • Loss of dependent child status

Are You Paying A Lot For COBRA?

When you elect COBRA insurance to stay on your work health plan, you pay your portion and the subsidy your employer had paid. If a third-party administrator coordinates the enrollment and billing they may add a 2% fee on top. In other words, you pay the whole premium and then some.

COBRA Eligibility

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