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COBRA: Simple Concept - Complicated Rules

OnDemand Webinar (90 minutes)

The concept behind COBRA is simple: A person shouldn't have to lose their health care coverage simply because they change jobs, get divorced, or become too old to be covered as a dependent.Things can become quite complicated when you work through all of the details that are required to put this simple concept into effect. We will explain the COBRA requirements that apply to employers, including the plans that are subject to COBRA, the special COBRA rules for Health FSAs, the situations in which COBRA must be offered, how long COBRA must be offered, and the notices that may be required under COBRA.


Steven P. Smith, Hinkle Law Firm LLC


Employers Who Are Subject to COBRA

• Church Plans Exception

• Small Employer Exception

Definition of a Group Health Plan for COBRA Purposes

Special COBRA Rules for Health FSAs

COBRA Qualified Beneficiaries: Individuals Who Have the Right to Continue Coverage

COBRA Qualifying Events

• Termination of Employment/Reduction of Hours

• Death of Employee

• Divorce or Legal Separation

• Loss of Dependent Status

• Entitlement to Medicare

• Employer Bankruptcy

Duration of COBRA Coverage

Events Allowing Termination of COBRA Coverage

• End of Maximum Coverage Period

• Failure to Pay the Applicable Premium

• Coverage Under Another Group Health Plan

• Entitlement to Medicare

• Determination That Qualified Beneficiary Is Not Disabled

• Termination for Cause

• Employer No Longer Maintains Any Group Health Plans

COBRA Notice Requirements

The Cost of COBRA Coverage

• Determining the Applicable Premium

• Deadline for the Initial and Subsequent COBRA Premiums

• Rules for Underpayments