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Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act

The Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1985, more commonly referred to as COBRA, gives workers and their families who lose health benefit coverage the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for a limited period of time under certain circumstances. Those circumstances include involuntary job loss, reduction in the number of hours worked, transitions between jobs, death, divorce and other life events. Individuals who qualify for COBRA may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage up to 102 percent of the plan cost. Generally, COBRA requires group health plans sponsored by employers with 20 employees or more in the year prior to offer the opportunity for temporary extended health coverage in circumstances where plan coverage would normally end. The act outlines how employees and their family members can elect continual coverage and also requires employers and plans to provide notice.

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