To purchase Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act health benefits, COBRA must cover the plan, there must be a qualifying event and you must be a beneficiary for the event, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. UnitedHealthcare must provide for the employer's group health.
COBRA health benefits apply to individuals with health care benefits who could otherwise lose the benefits due to the termination of a job, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Other qualifying events include divorce and death of a spouse. While COBRA coverage allows for the continuation of coverage, the former employee often pays more for the coverage than before because the employer no longer pays part of the cost, as the Department of Labor warns.
COBRA requires employers with 20 or more employees to provide their employees with the option of continuing their coverage, according to UnitedHealthcare. The law specifies the notices the company must send to those who lose their coverage concerning their rights to purchase COBRA insurance. Employers that violate COBRA laws are subject to stiff penalties and fines.
COBRA requires the option of extending coverage for 18 or 36 months, depending on the qualifying event, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. However, some plans include clauses that allow for extending coverage beyond these limits.