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Understand Due Dates for COBRA Coverage
Knowing the deadline and due dates associated with COBRA coverage can mean the difference between getting coverage and miss out completely on your option for COBRA benefits. Like any governmental program or law, failing to make decisions and complete paperwork on time can disqualify you completely. In fact, manny people realize too late they their time to sign up for COBRA insurance has run out and they are forced to use an alternative. Use the information below to help plan out your COBRA deadlines and due dates and also find useful information in case you feel that your employer missed a notification deadline.
|Event||Deadline / Due Date|
|Initial Notice of COBRA Rights from employer||The employer must provide this form within 2 weeks, or 14 days, of enrollment in employer sponsored health plan|
|When there is a divorce, loss of dependent status, or employee is eligible for Medicare the spouse and/or dependent must notify the employer||The employee has 60 days to notify the employer of the change in status|
|Qualifying Event Notice/Specific Notice/COBRA Election Form for an employee who is terminated or has their hours reduced||The employer has 30 days to notify the insurance company. After that the insurance company/employer has 14 days to contact the employee and beneficiaries.|
|Qualifying Event Notice/Specific Notice/COBRA Election Form -for a divorce or loss of dependent child status or if employee becomes eligible for Medicare||The employer has 30 days to notify the insurance company. After that the insurance company/employer has 14 days to contact the employee and beneficiaries.|
|Completed and mailed COBRA Insurance Election Form||The employee has 60 days from the date of the COBRA election notice|
|First premium payment is due||The employee 45 days from COBRA selection to pay the first premium|
|Extension for Disability with COBRA||The disability has to happen within 60 days of COBRA coverage starting|
|COBRA insurance ends||
Initial Term: 18 months
Extension due to Disability: 29 months
Extension for spouse, dependent child, or employee becoming eligible for Medicare: 36 months
Anytime you are unsure if you have received the proper notification from your employer the best thing to do is immediately contact your employer and health insurance provider. If after contacting those two parties you cannot get your issue resolved, contact the Department of Labor who can help you with your claim.
Additionally it is important to keep in mind that your COBRA insurance will be cancelled if you qualify for another insurance plan including Medicaid or Medicare. It will also be cancelled if you fail to pay the premium or do not pay the premium on time.
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