- What is COBRA?
- This statement explains your rights under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), a Federal continuation of coverage law for you and your covered dependent. The law requires that most employers sponsoring group health plans offer employees and their families the opportunity for a temporary extension of health care call "continuation coverage" at group rates in certain instances where coverage under the program would otherwise end. The health care benefits you may continue are the same benefits you receive as an active graduate student employee.
- Who is eligible?
- If you are an active graduate student employee enrolled in the SHEP, you have a right to choose this continuation coverage if you lose your group health care coverage because of a reduction in your hours of employment or the termination of employment (for reasons other than gross misconduct on your part). If you are terminated for gross misconduct, you may be able to continue under the New York State Continuation of Coverage Law. This law and COBRA offer different periods of coverage and differ in respects. Ask your agency Health Benefits Administrator for further information.
- How long you may keep COBRA coverage?
- You and/or your covered dependents may continue without interruption under the plan for up to 18 months, if coverage was lost due to termination of employment or reduction of hours worked. In some cases, the continuation period can be 36 months. If you are found to be disabled (for Social Security purposes) at the time of your termination or reduction in hours worked, the 18-month period can be extended to 29 months (If you notify the campus Health Insurance Administrator within 60 days of the social security determination).
- You have 60 days from the date your coverage terminates, or the date of this notice, whichever is later, to elect to continue coverage. Receipt of this application does not guarantee acceptance for continuation coverage. Your eligibility will be confirmed after you return this application.
- MONTHLY COST OF CONTINUED COVERAGE: If you elect to continue under the Plan, you must pay the premium detailed in the billing for the coverage you elect and are eligible for. Your first bill will include any past premium owed from the beginning of the COBRA period through the current billing period.
Estimated Premiums for COBRA
For exact rates, contact the COBRA UNITE in Albany at 1-800-833-4344
When Continued Coverage Ceases
The continued coverage will cease when:
- The cost of continued coverage is not paid on the due date or within the 30 day grace period; or
- that person becomes eligible for Medicare; or
- COBRA coverage was extended to 29 months due to disability and a determination is made that you are no longer disabled; or
- the Plan terminates for all employees; or
- the continuation period ends.