What is COBRA continuation health coverage? What is COBRA alternative coverage?

 "COBRA" is an acronym for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986. This federal law allows group health insurance to continue in certain circumstances where it might otherwise be terminated. COBRA law amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Internal Revenue Code and the Public Health Service Act.

"COBRA alternative" is a generic term that refers to any other temporary or long term health insurance available to individuals who have lost group health insurance. This type of health insurance is not specifically controlled by the federal law described above.

In practical terms, the key distinctions between COBRA and COBRA alternatives are price and coverage details of these insurance options. (More...)

revised 3/1/09

(back to index of frequently asked questions about COBRA coverage) provides help with COBRA issues

COBRA continuation coverage may provide temporary protection when changing jobs, going through a divorce or negotiating other life transitions. Choosing the right health insurance is crucial to protect your health and financial security.