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The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) provides for continued coverage for a certain period of time at applicable monthly COBRA rates if you, your spouse or domestic partner, or your dependents lose group medical, dental, vision or Health FSA coverage because you:

  • Terminate employment (for reasons other than gross misconduct);
  • Your work hours are reduced below the eligible status for these benefits;
  • You die, divorce, or are legally separated; or
  • A child ceases to be an eligible dependent.

Note: The continuation period is calculated from the earliest of these qualifying events.

Understanding COBRA

COBRA continuation coverage is identical to the UC-sponsored coverage you and/or your dependents had immediately prior to qualifying for COBRA coverage.

You may continue coverage under COBRA for up to 18 months if you terminate employment or your hours of employment are reduced to less than 43.75 percent time (17.5 hours per week).

If your dependent(s) lose coverage because you divorce, legally separate, get an annulment, end a domestic partnership or die or because the dependent loses eligibility (for example, turns age 26), your dependent generally may continue coverage for up to 36 months.

WEX Health is UC’s COBRA administrator. If you lose coverage because of a qualifying event, WEX Health will send you a COBRA election packet. You must send enrollment forms and premiums directly to WEX Health and WEX Health will then report eligibility and premiums to the individual health plans.

What you need to do

It is up to you to notify your Benefits Office or department in the event of:

  • Divorce/legal separation/annulment
  • Termination of domestic partnership
  • Loss of dependent status (e.g., child turns age 26)

To be eligible for COBRA continuation coverage, you must provide notice within 60 days of the event, either by completing the Notice to UC of a Qualifying Event PDF form (UBEN 109) or by providing written notice.