How do I get COBRA?

COBRA Continuation Health Coverage.

Please review the HR website about COBRA carefully

You will find some additional items to take into account below.


COBRA is the Federal Act which requires the employer (U of M) to allow the employee to purchase healthcare benefits for themselves and their dependents once their employment has ended. Please note: the plan will be the plan you currently have via the University of Michigan. However your premiums will be higher. You typically pay both your portion plus the employers portion.

The paperwork is mailed (electronic mail is not available) to you within 14 days of your appointment being terminated through the HRRIS  system. The paperwork is sent to the address on file with U of M. Please use the Self-Service option through Wolverine Access (Level 1 password) to update the address you wish to have the paperwork sent to.

Whether you intend to use COBRA or not, fill out the paperwork and request coverage. If your new healthcare through your future employer becomes effective before you receive the request for payment, simply cancel your request for COBRA.

COBRA coverage is retro-active to your first day of unemployment. This means, if you went to the doctor after your last day of work, but before you have submitted your paperwork, you are still covered. You pay out of pocket at the time of care, and submit your receipts to the insurance plan after you have submitted the paperwork and your plan is set up.


If you have accepted a position that starts with in 2 months of you last day of work consider...

You have 60 days from your last day of work to elect to use COBRA. For those who's last day of work is June 30, you can submit your paperwork as late as August 29. Once you submit your paperwork you have 45 days from that point until you actually have to make a payment. As long as you submit the paperwork within 60 days, your COBRA coverage is retroactive all the way back to your last day of employment. So you can be covered by COBRA for your entire gap in employment without making a payment, unless you get sick and actually have to use the coverage. If you do use the coverage, you will have to pay the premiums retroactive back to your last day of work.

If you do not have a position lined up, are taking a longer break between positions, or you know for a fact you will require health care...

The Affordable Care Act allows you to purchase health care on the exchange outside of open enrollment when your employment ends. Often you will be able to find coverage that is much cheaper than the plan you can get through U of M via the COBRA law. It is a good idea to do some price comparisons, or take into consideration that you could be out of network for the U of M plan if you are moving immediately after your last day of work.