COBRA and state continuation

Qualifying Events & Maximum Coverage Periods

Depending upon which qualifying event triggers the loss of coverage, the maximum coverage period is different. The maximum coverage period is generally 18, 29 or 36 months.  

Maximum Coverage Period

Qualifying Event

Employee

Spouse & Dependents

Termination of employment 

18 months*

18 months *+ 

Reduction in hours

18 months*

18 months *+ 

Death of a covered employee 

36 months

Divorce or legal separation 

36 months 

Covered employee becomes entitled to Medicare

36 months 

Dependent child ceases to be a dependent 

36 months 

* Extended to 29 months if employee, spouse or dependent is determined to be disabled 

Extended to 36 months if spouse or dependent experiences a second qualifying event