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COBRA until Medicare?
Mar 3, 2004

I have been told that if I stay with my company until I am 60 (I will have been with them for more than 5 years), my COBRA coverage will run until 65, when Medicare kicks in. True or false? Thanks for your help.

Response from Ms. Franzoi

Under federal law, COBRA coverage is for 18 months unless you are disabled at the time coverage begins or within the first 60 days of coverage and in that case, you are eligible for an additional 11 months at a higher cost - 29 months in total.

There are some state COBRA laws that apply to insured plans in that state only. For example, California has a state COBRA law that extends coverage for a longer period of time if you terminate after a certain age. I recommend that you contact the State Insurance Commissioner's office in the state you reside in and find out if there is a state COBRA law that is more generous than the federal law. If so, and the plan you are covered under is insured, this law would apply. Your COBRA rights should be explained in your medical plan SPD.



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