Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
Congress passed the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) in 1986. Under this law you are eligible to purchase continued medical, dental and vision coverage (or dental/vision only) under certain circumstances when your or your dependent's group health plan coverage with the City ends.
The City of Seattle is required by law to notify you and your covered dependents of your COBRA rights, whether continuation coverage is elected or not. You must notify your Human Resources representative should any of the following COBRA qualifying conditions occur.
Your Medical Coverage Ends
You and your covered dependents have the right to elect COBRA continuation coverage for up to 18 months if your coverage is lost because of one of these qualifying events:
- Your employment ends
- Your work hours are reduced to the point where you no longer are eligible for benefits
Your Covered Family Member's Coverage Ends
Covered family members have the right to choose COBRA continuation coverage for up to 36 months if coverage is lost for any of the following qualifying events:
- Death of the employee
- Divorce or legal separation of the employee and spouse or dissolution of the domestic partnership
- A dependent child loses dependent child status under the City's plan
The 18-month COBRA continuation period may be extended to 29 months if you or a family member (who is a qualified beneficiary) is certified disabled according to Social Security Administration at the time of one of the previously mentioned qualifying events. This 11-month extension is available to all covered family members of the disabled for 150% of the regular premium amount.
Once you have notified your Human Resources Representative of the COBRA qualifying condition, the following steps will occur:
- 1. Your department will send a COBRA notification form to City Benefits.
- 2. City Benefits will send a letter to your home address which explains COBRA coverage. Please make sure your address is correct on your paycheck.
Corrections may be made at Employee Self Service (http://selfservice/) or through your Human Resources Representative.
- 3. If you and/or your covered dependents wish to continue your City of Seattle healthcare under COBRA, follow the instructions included with the COBRA notification letter. You have 60 days from the date of the letter to respond.
COBRA premiums are paid by personal check or money order to the City of Seattle.
If you do not receive your COBRA notification from City Personnel's Benefits Unit within 30 days of notifying your Human Resources Representative of the qualifying event, call (206) 615-1340.
2017 COBRA Rates
2018 COBRA Rates