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Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), dependents of LACERA retired members who no longer meet the eligibility requirements for LACERA-administered healthcare coverage may apply for continued benefits for a maximum of 36 months. Dependents eligible for COBRA cannot be denied coverage based on their health status.

Dependents must have had continuous coverage under a LACERA-administered medical plan; individuals with previous lapses in coverage are ineligible.

Eligibility is also based on the dependent experiencing one of the following qualifying events:

  • Divorce or legal separation of a spouse or eligible domestic partner from a LACERA member
  • Death of a LACERA member leaving a spouse or eligible domestic partner and dependents who are not eligible to receive monthly retirement benefits
  • Dependent child reaches age 26

Coverage under COBRA becomes effective the day after the applicant becomes ineligible for the LACERA-administered group coverage, if:

  • Dependent applies for COBRA within 60 days of the date of the qualifying event
  • LACERA receives dependent’s initial quarterly payment by the due date

A three-month premium payment is required to initiate COBRA coverage. LACERA will mail an initial bill 30 days after receipt of the COBRA application. The bill will cover premiums retroactive to the date the regular LACERA-administered coverage terminates; it is payable approximately 15 days from the date it is received.

To continue coverage, the applicant is responsible for the full cost of the coverage at the current COBRA rate, which includes a 2 percent administrative fee. The COBRA rate is adjusted annually to reflect the actual cost of coverage.

Current COBRA rates are included in the Medical & Dental/Vision Premium Rates, which can be accessed on the Retiree Healthcare Brochures & Forms page, or by calling Retiree Healthcare at 800-786-6464, press 1.