The right to COBRA continuation coverage was created by a federal law, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA). COBRA continuation coverage can become available to you when you would otherwise lose your group health insurance. It can also become available to other members of your family who are covered under your health insurance plan when they would otherwise lose their group health coverage.
If you are an employee of Emerson College covered by one of the medical options maintained by Emerson ("the Plan"), you will become a qualified beneficiary if you lose your group health coverage because either of the following qualifying events happens:
- Your hours of employment are reduced, or
- Your employment ends for any reason other than your gross misconduct.
If you are the spouse of an employee covered by the Plan, you will become a qualified beneficiary if you lose your coverage under the Plan because any one of the following qualifying events happens:
- Your spouse dies;
- Your spouse’s employment ends for any reason other than his or her gross misconduct;
- Your spouse’s hours of employment are reduced;
- You become divorce or legally separated from your spouse; or
- Your spouse becomes entitled to Medicare (under Part A, Part B, or both).
Your dependent children will become qualified beneficiaries if they lose coverage under the Plan because any one of the following qualifying events happens:
- The parent-employee dies;
- The parent-employee’s hours of employment are reduced;
- The parent-employee’s employment ends for any reason other than his or her gross misconduct;
- The parents become divorced or legally separated;
- The parent-employee becomes entitled to Medicare benefits (Part A, Part B, or both); or
- The child ceases to be eligible for coverage under the Plan as a “dependent child.”
Obtaining COBRA Coverage
Once the Office of Human Resources receives notice that a qualifying event has occurred, COBRA continuation coverage will be offered to each qualified beneficiary. Each qualified beneficiary will have an independent right to elect COBRA continuation coverage. Covered employees may elect COBRA continuation coverage on behalf of their spouses, and parents may elect COBRA continuation coverage on behalf of their children.
COBRA continuation coverage is a temporary continuation of coverage. When the qualifying event is the death of the employee, the employee’s becoming entitled to Medicare (under Part A, Part B, or both), your divorce or legal separation, or a dependent child’s losing eligibility as a dependent child, COBRA continuation coverage lasts for up to a total of 36 months.
COBRA rates represent 100% of the premium plus a 2% administrative charge.
If you have questions about your COBRA continuation coverage, contact Crystina Hammond. You may also contact the nearest Regional or District Office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).