Even if you already have Medicare, you are eligible for COBRA if both of the following conditions apply:

  1. You are enrolled in an employer group health plan subject to COBRA;

and

  1. You have a “qualifying event” (such as termination of employment) that causes you to lose employer group health insurance. The type of qualifying event also determines the length of COBRA coverage (see table below for details).

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Qualifying Event Length of COBRA
 
Employee retires, is terminated, or has a reduction in work hours. 1 18 months
 
Employee develops a disability and has a reduction in work hours. 1 18 months
 
Employee develops a disability and is eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) during the initial 18-month COBRA period. 18 months +11 months extra (=29 months total)
 
Employee is terminated for gross misconduct. Nothing
 
Employee’s spouse and dependent children lose the employer group health plan because:
  • Employee becomes eligible for Medicare
  • Employee and spouse are divorced
  • Dependent child loses dependent child status
  • Employee dies
36 months
 
1 Ask your employer how many hours a week you have to work to qualify for group health insurance.
 

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