Wheeling Jesuit University

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Email: hr@wju.edu
Phone: 1-304-243-8152

Benefits: COBRA

Date approved:
August 2011
Approved by:
Date to be reviewed:
Jan. 2015
Reviewed by:
Director of Human Resources
Date revised:
Dec. 2014
Revision number:
Compliance Committee:
As Scheduled


Wheeling Jesuit University complies with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1986 which provides the option for employees who lose their health benefits (medical, dental and vision care coverage) because of unemployment, the right to choose to continue group health benefits for themselves and their covered dependents provided by their group health plan for a defined period of time.


2.1 Policy Statement

Under COBRA, employees who experience voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked with corresponding changes in employment status, or transition and life events (such as death, divorce and unemployment), may be eligible for continuing health care benefits. Qualified individuals are required to pay the entire insurance premium for health care coverage (medical, dental or vision care if selected) up to 102 percent of the cost of the plan to cover the premium and administrative fees.

2.2 Definition

"Qualifying Event"- Qualifying events are events that cause an individual to lose his or her group health coverage. The type of qualifying event determines who the qualified beneficiaries are for that event and the period of time that a plan must offer continuation of coverage. COBRA establishes only the minimum requirements for continuation coverage. A plan may always choose to provide longer periods of continuation coverage. The following are qualifying events for covered employees if they cause the covered employee to lose coverage:
  • Termination of the employee's employment for any reason other than gross misconduct; or
  • Reduction in the number of hours of employment.
  • The following are qualifying events for the spouse and dependent child of a covered employee if they cause the spouse or dependent child to lose coverage:
  • Termination of the covered employee's employment for any reason other than gross misconduct;
  • Reduction in the hours worked by the covered employee;
  • Covered employee becomes entitled to Medicare;
  • Divorce or legal separation of the spouse from the covered employee; or
  • Death of the covered employee.
  • In addition to the above, the following is a qualifying event for a dependent child of a covered employee if it causes the child to lose coverage:
  • Loss of dependent child status under the plan rules. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, plans that offer coverage to children on their parents' plan must make the coverage available until the adult child reaches the age of 26.

2.3 Notification

The University will notify its COBRA provider within 30 days of the event of the employee's eligibility to continue on the health plans (medical, dental and vision care) under the COBRA provisions.
The COBRA provider will issue an election notice within 14 days of receiving the notification of eligibility for health plan (medical, dental and vision care) coverage under COBRA.
The individual has 60 days to decide whether to elect COBRA continuation of health plan coverage (medical, dental or vision care: the employee may select all, some or none) and 45 days after electing coverage to pay the initial premium.

2.4 Resource

Contact the Director of Human Resources should you have any questions regarding eligibility or benefits continuation under COBRA.


The Director of Human Resources has the authority to change, modify or approve exceptions to this policy at any time with or without notice, in compliance with applicable government guidelines, and with the approval of the Board of Directors through the University President or his designee.


Continuation of Health Coverage

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