COBRA: When Coverage Ends
Generally, when Berklee medical or dental insurance coverage ends, you will receive important information about options for continuing that coverage for a limited time via COBRA.
Deadlines and enrollment procedures apply. WageWorks administers the COBRA program for Berklee.
Important Tip: "Mind the Gap"
COBRA allows for lost insurance to be reactivated retroactively as of the date the coverage originally ended. As a result, even though you elect COBRA, in most cases there will be a temporary period during which you will not have access to your insurance plan. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor or pharmacy in order to plan your care accordingly.
What is COBRA?
COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985. As required by this federal law, the COBRA program gives each individual covered by Berklee medical or dental insurance the right to continue the same coverage she or he was enrolled in before losing that coverage. COBRA rights apply separately to each covered person. As a result, you may elect COBRA, but your family members whom you were covering may reject it.
COBRA coverage is subject to all the same deductibles, exclusions, limitations, and other provisions as the terminated coverage.
When COBRA Coverage Begins and Ends
COBRA coverage begins only when WageWorks receives the first required premium payment from you. Any delay in the payment of the initial premium will result in:
• a lapse in coverage between the date on which you lose your Berklee coverage and the date on which the initial payment for COBRA coverage is received, and
• a termination of COBRA eligibility if the initial payment is not received within 45 days of the signing of the COBRA Election Form.
For most eligible individuals, COBRA coverage ends 18 months after the date on which existing Berklee coverage is lost. Longer COBRA periods may apply when Berklee coverage is lost due to disability, divorce, death, or a child's reaching age 26. Contact the Office of Human Resources for more information.
How COBRA Works: Deadlines, Procedures, and Payments
When your coverage ends, WageWorks, our COBRA administrator, will provide you with written notice of your COBRA options, as well as the Election Form.
To receive COBRA coverage, you must enroll within 60 days of receiving this notice or within 60 days of losing your coverage, whichever is later.
You enroll in the COBRA plan by returning the Election Form that WageWorks mailed to you.
Your first payment is due within 45 days of signing the Election Form. The amount of your first payment must cover the cost of all the months that have elapsed between the end of your Berklee coverage and the date you sign the Election Form. Be sure to contact WageWorks to confirm the exact cost of your COBRA coverage.
WageWorks will provide you with a supply of monthly payment coupons for your ongoing, monthly COBRA premium payments. These ongoing, monthly COBRA premium payments are due on the first day of the month for that month's coverage.
If WageWorks does not receive your monthly payment within 30 days after the due date on the coupon, your COBRA coverage will be terminated and will not be reinstated.
How Much Does COBRA Cost? Why So Much?
In most cases, the monthly cost of your COBRA coverage will be 102 percent of the full cost of your Berklee plan.
While you were eligible for Berklee coverage, the college paid 65 percent of the cost of your insurance premium. With COBRA, generally there is no Berklee contribution. You pay the full cost of the premium, plus 2 percent to cover the cost of administering the COBRA program.
How to Reach WageWorks
You may reach out to WageWorks at any time, even before your coverage ends.
Telephone: 877-502-6272 (COBRA line)