Paying for COBRA

COBRA can be expensive — there’s no denying that. Many people get sticker shock when they see how much their health coverage is under COBRA. You are generally required to pay the full cost of your health coverage plus an additional 2 percent administrative fee. Remember, this is the full premium charged by the insurance carrier, including the portion that your employer paid on your behalf prior to your qualifying event.

If you experience a qualifying event and receive COBRA materials from your former employer or a plan administrator, the information will include your premium. The 2 percent administrative fee will be part of that total cost.

Make Your Payments on Time

When you elect COBRA, you must pay the premium by the due date noted on your COBRA invoice. If you fail to make a payment by the due date, your coverage will be canceled and you will lose your COBRA rights.

Be aware if you fail to receive an invoice, you are still required to pay on time.

Keep in mind that you may have other less-expensive options if you choose to decline COBRA. Learn more on our COBRA Alternatives page. Just know that turning down COBRA may impact your rights under federal law.