Benefits Continuation: COBRA


Human Resources




Christa Taylor

Guideline Recommendations

This document may be used as a reference by Campus Benefit Administrators for guidance on benefits continuation when an employee is covered by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and for guidance on benefits continuation requirements for employees and their dependents.

An Employee's Right to Choose COBRA Coverage

COBRA is a federal law that requires the Research Foundation (RF) to offer its employees and their covered dependents the right to continue health, dental and vision care coverage. The right to choose continuation of coverage is available after an employee terminates employment, either voluntarily or involuntarily, or when the employee or dependent is no longer eligible for coverage because of certain qualifying events (e.g., reduction in hours of employment or a child reaching the limiting age).

Coverage After Termination

Terminated employees and their covered dependents are eligible to continue coverage as shown in the following table:

Who is Covered

Types of Benefits

Coverage Continuation

Employees who terminate either voluntarily or involuntarily and their covered dependents

Health, dental, and vision care

Coverage may be continued under COBRA. See coverage sections below for more information.

Health insurance can also be continued on a direct-payment basis with the carrier. As soon as employment ends, the employee should contact Empire Blue Cross or his or her HMO.

What to Give Employees

Employees should be provided with the following information, as a package:

Change History


Summary of Change

May 25, 2016

Routine updates to links and minor clarifications to content

May 7, 2012

Updated links for new RF logo and COBRA mailing address

March 18, 2010

Clarified New York extension rules

November 1, 2010

Changed coverage continuation period from 18 months to 36 months; Removed Coverage Extension Period section; Removed paragraph on administrative fee if total disability under Premium Payment section.

April 3, 2006

Added Coverage After Termination section.

July 28, 2005

Updated to new format.



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