Understanding COBRA in California

Health insurance is important for all people despite their age. Everybody wants to sign up for health `care plan that will take good care of your family. However, what will happen when you will divorce your spouse?


Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, it defines what should happen to children and dependent spouses in case a divorce occurs or when the child ceases to depend on the health plan of the employer. The health plan can continue if a child or non- employees spouse continues to pay his or her premiums. This article will help you to understand what COBRA is with respect to Californian laws.


Most people make a mistake of not sending relevant notices as stipulated in the law. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act states that the coverage, in terms of deductibles, coverage limits and benefits should be the same as those of active participants. Changes that affect active participants (such as a change in benefits, increased deductibles, plan termination) should also affect non-employee participants who are using COBRA.


Beneficiaries can make changes to their plans just like the ordinary employees. They are also able to obtain notices just like the active participants who are employed.



What Are the Types of Health Plans Covered?

The act stipulates clearly the criteria used to know whether your employees are eligible for COBRA insurance or not. Medical Spending Accounts require special attention.


The act applies to those employers who have 20 employees or more. However, calculating the number of employees can be a challenge because of part-time or full-time employment, staff turnover among other things.



Qualifying Events and Extent of Coverage

There are certain events that can make you to automatically to qualify for COBRA coverage as listed below:


  • Remarriage and divorce
  • Retirement status
  • Medicare entitlement
  • Reasons for termination


What Does the Law Say Regarding Issuing COBRA Notices?

The law stipulates that COBRA-related notices should be sent to qualified beneficiaries or employees at the start and at the end of their coverage. It should also notify them when they will cease to be eligible for this coverage.


Qualified beneficiaries are given two months to either to elect or waive COBRA coverage; employers should make efforts to ensure that such beneficiaries receive such notices in good time.


The act also states premiums beneficiaries must pay and when they start to become due.