Electing COBRA Coverage

Many employers contract with benefits companies to provide COBRA administration services to their employees and qualified beneficiaries. After a qualifying event has occurred, the employer and its plan administrator have up to 44 days to furnish a COBRA Election Notice.

Mailed COBRA Materials

Once the employer (or its designated data provider) tells the plan administrator of the qualifying event, the plan administrator will use this information to provide a COBRA Election Notice. A packet of COBRA materials is mailed to the qualified beneficiary usually within 14 days after the plan administrator is informed of the qualifying event.

If you receive these materials, you will get information about COBRA, including your rights, obligations, and cost of coverage. You can enroll in COBRA continuation coverage any time during your election period. This period is at least 60 days long. It’s usually measured from the date the COBRA notice is mailed to you or the date you lose coverage, whichever date is later.

If you want COBRA coverage, make sure you enroll before the election period ends. After it ends, you lose your right to elect COBRA coverage.

COBRA Alternatives

You are not required to elect COBRA and you may have other options for coverage. Check out these options on our COBRA Alternatives page. Be aware that turning down COBRA may impact your rights under federal law.