Continuing Coverage through COBRA

Eastern offers a continuation of medical/prescription/vision, dental and FSA plans for employees and/or their covered family members without interruption under certain circumstances where coverage would otherwise end.

You and/or any individual dependent(s) currently enrolled on your benefits may elect to continue each or all of your health plan coverages in the university's group for as long as 18 months, if the qualifying event is due to termination or reduction in hours (e.g., retirement).  An election of 36 months can occur if the qualifying event is due to the death of the employee, loss of dependent child status, employee's Medicare enrollment while on COBRA.

If a dependent loses coverage due to a divorce, legal separation, death or you cease to be a dependent child, you can choose continuation of coverage for up to 36 months.

The 18 months may also be extended to 29 from the date of the qualifying event, if it is determined that you or any of your dependents, became disabled (as determined under the Social Security Act) during the first 60 days of COBRA coverage.  In order to receive the extension you must notify the Benefits Office within 60 days of the disability determination and before the end of the original 18-month period.

COBRA Termination

COBRA coverage will terminate due to:

  • Non-payment of  premiums
  • If  you become covered under a new group plan
  • If you gain coverage from elsewhere

COBRA cannot be reinstated once ended.  At the end of 18 or 36 month continuation period, you may be eligible to apply for an individual coverage health plan as provided under the applicable health carrier's plan, if available.

COBRA Rates

COBRA rates [PDF] usually reflect the full premium rate plus a 2% administrative fee.