What is the federal government's role in COBRA? Who regulates the COBRA alternatives?

COBRA laws are administered by three federal agencies. The Departments of Labor and Treasury (through the Internal Revenue Service) have jurisdiction over private-sector health group health plans and share jurisdiction for enforcement of COBRA provisions. The Department of Health and Human Services administers the continuation coverage law as it affects public-sector health plans. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services offers information about COBRA provisions for public-sector employees.

Contact information:

 U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration Division of Technical Assistance and Inquiries
200 Constitution Avenue NW, Suite N-5619
Washington, DC 20210
Tel. 1-866-444-3272

Internal Revenue Service has issued regulations on COBRA provisions relating to eligibility, coverage and premiums in 26 CFR Part 54

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Mail Stop C1-22-06
Baltimore, MD 21244-1850
Tel 1.877.267.2323 x61565

COBRA alternatives are primarily regulated by the individual state insurance departments. Contact information for each state insurance departments can be found on the state pages at Freedom Benefits.

revised 4/8/2014

(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.