What are the qualifying events under COBRA?

July 12, 2019
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A qualifying event is one that would cause an employee who had group health coverage to lose that coverage. Dropping coverage during open enrollment is not a qualifying event, although doing so in conjunction with a qualifying event such as divorce or legal separation triggers COBRA rights for the spouse. COBRA qualifying events are listed on the DOL website and are as follows:

Qualifying Events for Employees

  • Voluntary or involuntary termination of employment for reasons other than gross misconduct.
  • Reduction in the number of hours of employment below plan eligibility requirements.

Qualifying Events for Spouses

  • Voluntary or involuntary termination of the covered employee's employment for any reason other than gross misconduct.
  • Reduction in the hours worked by the covered employee below plan eligibility requirements.
  • Covered employee becoming entitled to Medicare.
  • Divorce or legal separation of the covered employee.
  • Death of the covered employee.

Qualifying Events for Dependent Children

  • Loss of dependent child status under the plan rules.
  • Voluntary or involuntary termination of the covered employee's employment for any reason other than gross misconduct.
  • Reduction in the hours worked by the covered employee below plan eligibility requirements.
  • Covered employee becoming entitled to Medicare.
  • Divorce or legal separation of the covered employee.
  • Death of the covered employee.

 


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