From the Hotline: COBRA 60-Day Election Period Start Date

Question: When sending COBRA paperwork for a dependent who “ages out” of benefit coverage eligibility under a parent’s insurance, does the 60-day election period begin on the dependent’s birthday, or on the day the notice is sent?

Answer: In this scenario, the employer should use the date the dependent loses coverage (the dependent’s birthday) as the beginning of the 60-day election period.

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) regulations state that the election period cannot end before 60 days after the later of the date the notice of COBRA election rights is provided to the qualified beneficiary or the date that the beneficiary would lose coverage as a result of a qualifying event. In this case, 60 days after the loss of coverage (the beneficiary’s birthday) would be the later of the two options.