COBRA Health Coverage

COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.

It requires employers to offer eligible employees continued health coverage for a period for up to 36 months after separation. The purpose of this Act is to ensure access to health coverage for employees who would otherwise lose group coverage under specified circumstances called “qualifying events.”

COBRA provides continuous health care coverage, provided that the employee elects to participate, completes the enrollment process, and continues paying premiums to the insurance carrier.


Employees covered by a CSU health plan may continue coverage of group health insurance when they lose coverage due to:

  1. a reduction in work hours, or

  2. a termination of employment for reasons other than gross misconduct.

A spouse or domestic partner of an employee covered by a CSU health plan may choose to enroll in COBRA if coverage is lost for any of the following reasons:

  1. The death of the employee;

  2. Termination of employee's employment or reduction in employee’s work hours;

  3. Divorce, legal separation, or dissolution of domestic partnership from the employee; or

  4. Employee becomes entitled to Medicare.

A dependent child of a covered employee may continue coverage if group health coverage is lost for any of the following reasons:

  1. The death of the parent (employee);

  2. The termination of the parent's employment or reduction in the parent's work hours with the CSU;

  3. The parents' divorce, legal separation, or dissolution of domestic partnership;

  4. The parent (employee) becomes entitled to Medicare; or

  5. The dependent reaches age 26.

What is the cost of participating in COBRA?

The cost for participation is determined by the health plan chosen by the employee and the number of dependents to be covered. See the "COBRA” Group Monthly Rates, effective 1/1/2024.

How does an employee apply for COBRA?

Benefits Administration sends an enrollment package to all eligible employees upon separation from the university. Instructions and timelines are included in this packet. 

Why would an employee participate in COBRA?

COBRA can help ensure short-term coverage for families who would otherwise lose health insurance.

Where does a separating employee send their COBRA premiums?

COBRA premiums are sent directly to the insurance carrier. 

How long does COBRA coverage last?

COBRA coverage for employees extends for 18 months. Covered spouses, domestic partners, and/or dependent children are eligible for continued coverage for a maximum of 36 months.