CalNonprofits Insurance Services

How Well Do You Know COBRA?

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June 5, 2017

If your agency offers group health benefits, you will have some responsibilities under COBRA.

COBRA is a federal law that requires employers of a certain size to continue to offer coverage to individuals who would otherwise lose their benefits. This most often happens due to termination of employment or a reduction in hours.

Let’s see how well you know your COBRA – take this short quiz to test your knowledge:

  1. Federal COBRA applies to employers with 20 or more employees enrolled in health benefits.
    • TRUE
    • FALSE
  2. California nonprofits have the option of participating in Cal-COBRA if they don’t qualify for Federal COBRA.
    • TRUE
    • FALSE
  3. The maximum number of months someone can stay on COBRA or Cal-COBRA is:
    • 12
    • 18
    • 29
    • 36
  4. COBRA and/or Cal-COBRA may also apply to other health benefits (e.g. dental, vision, etc.).
    • TRUE
    • FALSE
  5. COBRA and/or Cal-COBRA premiums are exactly the same as a regular employee’s premium.
    • TRUE
    • FALSE

How do you think you did? Check below for the answers to the quiz.

  1. FALSE
    Whether your organization is subject to Federal COBRA is determined by the number of employees on staff the preceding year. It doesn’t matter if they are enrolled in a health plan for this determination. However; someone who is not enrolled in your group health plan will not be eligible for COBRA benefits.
  2. FALSE
    It’s not an “option”. If the employer only has 2-19 employees and offers group health coverage, they are covered by Cal-COBRA.
  3. 36 months
    Federal COBRA = 18 months for some events (then eligible for another 18 months of Cal-COBRA)
    = 36 months for some events
    Cal-COBRA = 36 months
  4. True
    The most common types of plans COBRA and Cal-COBRA apply to are medical, dental, vision, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA).
  5. FALSE
    COBRA premiums can be up to 102% of the regular premium
    Cal-COBRA premiums can be up to 110% of the regular premium
    Disability extension COBRA or Cal-COBRA premiums can be up to 150% of the regular premium


To find out more about COBRA or Cal-COBRA, see California Department of Managed Health Care – Keep Your Health Coverage (COBRA). Your Employee Benefits Account Manager is also happy to answer any questions you may have.

About the Author

  • Founded in 1984 as a subsidiary of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), CalNonprofits Insurance Services was established during a time of diminishing insurance options for nonprofits. One of the driving reasons for establishing the association was to use the collective influence of the sector to secure more stable and quality insurance. We have developed, and are known for, our wide spectrum of services reflecting expertise in both the insurance and nonprofit sectors, our superior customer service, and our development of exclusive insurance products, including a highly successful dental and vision trust. We insure more than 1,200 nonprofit organizations throughout California and we are the only California brokerage specializing in insurance for nonprofits. Our clients range from newly established nonprofits all the way to venerable organizations with multiple locations statewide.

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