Benefits for Life & Health

COBRA

Continuing your coverage.

Stethoscope in the shape of a cobra to illustrate Cobra administrative servicesA new job. Being laid-off. Getting divorced. A death in the family. There are many reasons why your health benefits could suddenly come to an end. Electing COBRA ensures that the group health insurance coverage you chose for you and your family remains the same for up to 18 months—no matter what else in life changes. It’s important to know how COBRA works, what you’ll be paying and how much it really costs.


Understanding what a qualifying event is.

To be eligible for COBRA, you must have experienced a qualifying event. That’s defined as a specified event, which would cause you to lose your health insurance coverage. Some of these reasons could be related to employment, such as:

  • Voluntary/involuntary termination
  • Reduction of work hours
  • Death of employee
  • Medicare entitlement
  • Employer’s bankruptcy
If that’s the case, your employer will notify our COBRA administration services team within 30 days of the following qualifying event. Other examples of qualifying events could be related to life changes, including: 

  • Divorce or legal separation
  • Dependent child ceasing to be a dependent
You must notify the plan administrator of the above events within 60 days of the qualifying event or the date of the loss of coverage.


How to pay for your COBRA benefits.

We accept checks or money orders for monthly COBRA payments. Premium payments should be mailed to:
 
COBRA Department
Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group
100 Quannapowitt Parkway, Suite 300
PO Box 4004
Wakefield, MA 01880
 
Alternatively, you can sign up for EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) and have your monthly COBRA premium deducted directly from your bank account or you may pay via credit card through the online portal. This eliminates the need to send a check on a monthly basis. If you would like to make your EFT payments for your COBRA premium, contact a service representative by calling (888) 762-6088.


Canceling your COBRA coverage.

You can request your coverage be canceled at anytime by sending a letter to Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group including your name, prior company, and the date you wish to terminate coverage. It’s best to plan for your new coverage start date to fall on the first of the month as your final month’s premium will not be prorated.
 
Alternatively, your coverage will terminate if you don’t make your payment on time.
   

When will my COBRA coverage end?

In most cases, the maximum amount of time you can remain enrolled on COBRA is 18 months. In special circumstances, such as disability or divorce, a COBRA extension may be granted. If the plan that you are under is convertible, you will be informed of this option in writing 60 days prior to your COBRA end date. You may also call the number on your insurance card and inquire about non-group plan rates for after your COBRA period expires.


Taking the next step. 

To learn more, email a Service Representative or call (888) 762-6088. Or you can get started right away by downloading PDFs of Sentinel's COBRA forms: