Time Limits for COBRA Coverage

Continuation coverage ends at the earliest of one of the following events:

  • The last day of the 18-, 29-, or 36-month maximum coverage period, whichever applies.
  • The first day (including grace periods, if applicable) on which timely payment is not made by you.
  • The date on which the employer ceases to maintain any employer-sponsored group plan (including successor plans).
  • The date the qualified beneficiary enrolls in Medicare benefits. A qualified beneficiary, with respect to a covered employee under an employer-sponsored group plan, is any individual who, on the day before the qualifying event for that employee, is a beneficiary under the plan:
    • As the spouse of the covered employee; or
    • As the dependent child of the covered employee.
  • The first day on which a beneficiary is actually covered by any other employer-sponsored group plan. However, if the new employer-sponsored group plan contains an exclusion or limitation relating to any pre-existing condition of the beneficiary, then coverage will end on the earlier of the satisfaction of the waiting period for pre-existing conditions contained in the new employer-sponsored group plan or the occurrence of any one of the other COBRA qualifying events.

If you or any of your dependents who has elected COBRA coverage are disabled as defined by Title XVI of the Social Security Act during the first 60 days of continuation coverage, your COBRA coverage may continue for up to 29 months. The 29-month period will apply to you and your eligible dependents who elected COBRA coverage.

You must provide notice of the disability determination to your employer within 60 days of the determination. COBRA members with a disability who continue coverage for up to 29 months may be required to pay up to 150 percent of the dues for the 19th through the 29th month.

If the new employer-sponsored group plan contains a pre-existing condition exclusion, see COBRA rules when you regain medical coverage.

For additional important information, we encourage you to read: