COBRA (Job-related Health Insurance)

COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) is a program that may be able to extend health insurance benefits for you and your family after your job has ended. You’ll have to pay some of the cost, but it’s generally much cheaper than buying insurance on your own.

Frequently Asked Questions


Program Benefits Am I eligible? How do I apply?

Even though you’re no longer working with a company, COBRA lets you keep your same health insurance policy. You have to pay something for it, but it’s usually less expensive than buying a new insurance policy. Another plus is that your plan won’t change, so you can’t lose coverage for conditions or illnesses that were covered before.

You may be eligible for COBRA if:

  • You lost or left your job for any reason other than “gross misconduct” or terrible behavior.
  • Your employer reduced your hours enough to make you ineligible for full benefits.

Your former employer should tell you, in writing, when you can sign up for COBRA. You then have 60 days to decide whether or not to sign up. Ask your employer if you have any questions, or learn more from the U.S. Department of Labor. If your COBRA eligibility started between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009, you may only have to pay 35% of the monthly insurance cost. To learn more, contact the Department of Labor at 1 (866) 444-3272 (toll free), or visit the Department of Labor online Frequently Asked Questions.

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