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COBRA (federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986) and OBRA (federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989) require employers to offer eligible employees and their eligible dependents (who would otherwise lose group coverage under specified circumstances called "qualifying events.") the opportunity for a temporary extension of CSU medical, dental and vision coverage at 102 percent of group rates.

Examples of "qualifying events" are:
  • Termination of employment (for reasons other than "gross misconduct") or reduction in hours (less than half-time) that results in loss of eligibility (18-month maximum)

  • Disability as determined by Social Security Administration (29 months)

  • Divorce or legal separation (36-month maximum applies to spouse)

  • Dependent child reaching age 26 or marrying (36-month maximum)

California Law (AB1401)
  • Provides additional COBRA coverage so that total (federal and California) COBRA coverage can be a maximum of 36 months.

  • To qualify, individuals must have:
    • began federal COBRA coverage on or after January 1, 2003; and

    • exhausted all federal COBRA months.

      • Employee receives 18 months of federal COBRA coverage (based on termination of employment).

      • Employee can then elect to receive another 18 months coverage under state AB1401.

      • Total coverage (federal and California)=36 months

  • Premiums are 110 percent of the group rate.

  • Applies only to medical coverage (not dental or vision).

  • Employees must apply for the extension directly with the insurance carrier or HMO prior to the expiration of federal COBRA coverage.
More Information

COBRA Administrative Guide » (.pdf)

COBRA Rates »

Content Contact:
Human Resource Services
(562) 951-4070
Technical Contact:
Last Updated: May 09, 2016