If you switch employers, you have the right to carry your group health insurance coverage with you to a new job for up to 18 months under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).
You must pay the full premium, but at group rates that are far cheaper than the individual rates you would pay for similar coverage. Health insurance under COBRA is available if you are in the following situations:
- You leave a company and become unemployed or self-employed for up to 18 months.
- You are a widow or widower or child of an employee who dies while working for the same company for three years or more.
- You are the divorced spouse or child of an employee who has left the company he or she was employed at for at least three years.
- You are the child of an employee who left a job and have not yet reached age 23.
NOTE: If you need COBRA benefits, you must fill out the appropriate forms from your employer’s benefits department within 60 days of leaving your job. If you do not act within that time, you may be denied coverage.