Anyone who meets the criteria as a qualified beneficiary is eligible for COBRA coverage. This includes consumers who were covered by a group health insurance plan the day before a qualifying event takes place. The dependents of a qualified beneficiary are also eligible to receive COBRA coverage.
Examples of qualifying events include a reduction in work hours that results in a change in employment status or the termination of employment for any reason other than gross misconduct. If an individual becomes disabled within 60 days of COBRA coverage, or if the individual divorces or legally separates, she is eligible for COBRA. Dependents of individuals who have passed away are eligible to continue receiving insurance benefits, as are those who have reached the age of 26 and no longer meet the requirements for coverage on a parent's insurance plan.
How long a person receives COBRA varies based on the qualifying event. For example, a person who has had a reduction in work hours that resulted in a change of employment status or those who are terminated from employment are eligible for coverage for up to 18 months. The dependents of a person who passed away have the ability to receive coverage for 36 months.