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When Does COBRA Coverage Start?

I’m new to this process. We have an employee who terminated July 15. Coverage for this employee will continue end July 31 as the insurer covers by the full month and not partial periods. Does the continuation coverage start from July 14 or from August 1st?

The continuation of health insurance under COBRA starts the same day that the group health plan had ended after the premium payment has been made.

COBRA is Retro-Active

After the insurance restarts, out-of-pocket medical expenses, while coverage is pending, may be submitted for reimbursement.

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Workplace Qualifying Events

There are three types of qualifying events in the workplace that would make you eligible for COBRA insurance, they are:

  • Voluntary Termination or Quit Your Job
  • Involuntary Termination, Layoff or Fired
  • Retirement

COBRA Eligibility

Gross Misconduct Does Not Qualify You For COBRA

In the event that your termination reason was due to gross misconduct, the employer does not have to offer insurance continuation.

How Long Does COBRA Last After You Quit?

You may remain on your former employer’s COBRA insurance plan for up to 18 months. Depending on your circumstances you or your qualified dependents may be eligible for up to 36 months of continuing coverage.

When Can I Apply For COBRA Coverage?

Your former employer has up 45 days to send your COBRA continuing coverage election paperwork. This packet of information will give you the cost of your COBRA plan, how to enroll and where to make your premium payments. The law requires your former employer to give you a 60 day open enrollment period to choose to continue your current employer health plan or waive COBRA coverage.

More details on COBRA and how it works.

When Does Coverage Begin?

Your COBRA insurance will start immediately after making your first premium payment. Once you elect to continue the employer group health plan, your benefits will be retroactive to the date your coverage would otherwise have stopped. If you have out-of-pocket expenses between the time the coverage stopped and then started, you may be reimbursed by your carrier.

COBRA Third-Party Administrators

Your COBRA plan may be managed by a third-party administrator. Many employers work with the following:

If you are unsure who your plan administrator is, reach out to the human resources department of the company that provided the health insurance you had.

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