How Long Does COBRA Last?
COBRA is not meant to be a long-term solution for employees or their dependents - it is only intended to fill gaps in coverage, not to be a means of coverage in and of itself. There are several factors that determine how long any qualifying worker is eligible for COBRA. Typically, the event that qualified the worker determines how long they are eligible to remain on COBRA. Workers who qualified due to losing their jobs or facing a reduction in hours have only 18 months of COBRA rights. Workers who qualified due to disability, however, have up to 29 months, while those who entered coverage because of a divorce have 36 months to find new coverage.
As with any law, there are always some mitigating factors, and if there are any doubts about eligibility or coverage length, an expert should be contacted, however, these rough guidelines apply in most cases. COBRA is an excellent stop-gap of sorts for those facing losing their benefits- however, it should not be looked at as an indefinite resource as eventually, it will expire.