Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) requires that most employers sponsoring group health care plans provide employees with the opportunity to elect continuing healthcare coverage at group rates in certain circumstances where coverage might otherwise terminate.
COBRA applies to group health care plans of employers with more than twenty employees (full- or part-time, including partners and also independent contractors if eligible to participate in the plan) for at least half of their working days during the calendar year. Application of COBRA is triggered by a “qualifying event” which would result in a “loss of coverage” for a “qualified beneficiary” (e.g. an employee, spouse or dependent) under a group health plan.