COBRA, or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, allows individuals covered under a group health plan to continue that coverage for a period of time (usually 18 months) after losing eligibility as a covered member of the plan. Below are some frequently asked questions if you have any questions yourself. If your question is not listed, please contact us for more info.
What is COBRA coverage?
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is a continuation of group health plan coverage for a qualified individual who might otherwise lose coverage under a group health plan.
How do I get on COBRA?
COBRA has basic requirements to be eligible. An eligible qualified beneficiary (QB) is one who loses group health plan coverage due to a qualifying event. The QB may elect to continue group health plan coverage for a limited time on a self pay basis.
What are Qualifying Events?
A Qualifying Event (QE) is generally when a triggering event causes a loss of health plan coverage. There are 7 triggering events: (1) Termination of a covered employee’s employment (other than for gross misconduct); (2) a reduction of a covered employee’s hours of employment; (3) a death of a covered employee; (4) a divorce or legal separation from the covered employee; (5) ceasing to be a dependent child under the terms of the plan; (6) the covered employee’s becoming entitled to Medicare. The qualifying event must cause the QB to lose coverage.
How long can I stay on COBRA?
COBRA requires that continuation coverage extend from the date of the qualifying event for a limited period of 18 or 36 months. The length of time depends on the type of qualifying event that gave rise to the COBRA rights. A plan, however, may provide longer periods of coverage beyond the maximum period required by law.
Can a family member or friend call and ask questions for me?
BMA follows and adheres to HIPAA regulations and we will not be able to talk to anyone regarding your account unless they are an adult on the account or we receive written permission from you that we are allowed to release information to that named person.
For additional questions about COBRA, give us a call at 1-800-934-6302.