COBRA Qualifying Events

COBRA Qualifying Events

Reasons for Losing Your Coverage

Several events may cause someone to be eligible for COBRA. Qualifying events are the reasons that you, your spouse, or your dependents lose coverage under an employer’s plan. The type of qualifying event determines how long you can have COBRA coverage.

Qualifying Event Covered Person(s) Period of Coverage
  • Termination of Employment (voluntary or involuntary) —
    for reasons other than gross misconduct
  • Reduction in Hours of Employment
Dependent Child
Up to 18 months
  • Divorce or Legal Separation
  • Death of the Covered Employee
  • Employee’s Entitlement to Medicare*
Dependent Child
Up to 36 months
  • Loss of Dependent Child Status Under the Plan
Dependent Child Up to 36 months

* Typically, this will not be a qualifying event for spouses and⁄or dependent children of active employees due to the Medicare Secondary Payer Rules.

If you experience a qualifying event, you have some time to decide if you want to continue coverage under COBRA. Find out more details on our Electing Coverage page.

COBRA participants may need to participate in their former employer’s open enrollment process. Learn more on our Open Enrollment page.

Is your COBRA coverage about to expire? There are other coverage options that you might want to check out. Visit our Losing Coverage page.