COBRA for Surviving Dependents

COBRA for Surviving Dependents

Yes. The federal COBRA law gives dependents the right to temporarily continue health and dental insurance in an event such as death of an employee or certain life events like divorce, a dependent child getting married and/or a dependent child turning age 26.

Dependents can continue insurance for up to 36 months after they lose eligibility as a dependent, as long as they:

  • do not have other group health or dental insurance and
  • do not become eligible for Medicare. 
Yes. After 36 months of insurance under COBRA, you may extend coverage as a "Former COBRA Unmarried Child." You must remain unmarried for this continuation. 
Only dependents who were covered on the date of the qualifying life event (QLE) may continue insurance.

You can make some changes to your insurance during the Annual Enrollment period, and you can add eligible dependents who you gain due to a QLE, such as by birth or marriage.

You must inform ERS within 31 days of the event to add the eligible dependent that you gained.

COBRA Rates for Plan Year 2021

(September 1, 2020 - August 31, 2021)

Health Premium Cost

Plan Name You Only You & Spouse You & Child(ren) You & Family
HealthSelect of Texas® $634.22 $1,363.60 $1,122.55 $1,851.93
Consumer Directed HealthSelectSM $588.32 $1,235.34 $1,006.33 $1,699.26
Community First Health Plans $557.61 $1,198.87 $986.95 $1,628.21
Scott and White Health Plan $631.32 $1,357.35 $1,117.41 $1,843.44

If you are a tobacco-user, a tobacco-user premium is added to your health premium cost.

Dental Premium Cost

Plan Name You Only You & Spouse You & Child(ren) You & Family
DeltaCare® USA DHMO $9.78 $19.56 $23.48 $33.24
State of Texas Dental ChoiceSM $27.75 $55.51 $66.61 $94.36

Vision Premium Cost

Membership Level You Only You & Spouse You & Child(ren) You & Family
State of Texas VisionSM $5.22 $10.44 $11.23 $16.45

Tobacco-user Premium

Tobacco-users of Any Age and Adults Who Fail to Certify Member or Spouse or Children* Only Member + Spouse or Member + Children* or Spouse + Children* Family (Member + Spouse + Children*)
Monthly Tobacco-user Premium $30 $60 $90

*The charge for a child is the same regardless of how many children in the household use tobacco or how many covered children 18 or over are not certified.

COBRA Rates for Plan Year 2020

(September 1, 2019 - August 31, 2020)

Rates include 2% administrative fee.

Health Premium Cost

Plan Name You Only You & Spouse You & Child(ren) You & Family
HealthSelect of Texas® $635.05 $1,365.37 $1,124.04 $1,854.36
Consumer Directed HealthSelectSM $589.15 $1,237.06 $1,007.78 $1,701.58
Community First Health Plans $558.35 $1,200.46 $988.26 $1,630.37
Scott and White Health Plan $632.16 $1,359.13 $1,118.90 $1,845.87

If you are a tobacco user, tobacco-user premium is added to your health premium cost.

Dental Premium Cost

Plan Name You Only You & Spouse You & Child(ren) You & Family
DeltaCare® USA DHMO $9.78 $19.56 $23.48 $33.24
State of Texas Dental ChoiceSM $27.75 $55.51 $66.61 $94.36

Delta Dental administers the State of Texas Dental Choice PlanSM (PPO)

Vision Premium Cost

Membership Level You Only You & Spouse You & Child(ren) You & Family
State of Texas VisionSM $5.22 $10.44 $11.23 $16.45

Tobacco-user Premium

Tobacco-users of Any Age and Adults Who Fail to Certify Member or Spouse or Children* Only Member + Spouse or Member + Children* or Spouse + Children* Family (Member + Spouse + Children*)
Monthly Tobacco-user Premium $30 $60 $90

*The charge for a child is the same regardless of how many children in the household use tobacco or how many covered children 18 or over are not certified.

When determining your monthly premium for continuation coverage under COBRA, note the following:

  • If only one child is continuing coverage, then the child is the COBRA applicant. Pay the You Only rate.
  • If multiple children are continuing coverage, the youngest child is the COBRA applicant. Pay the You & Child(ren) rate.
  • If only the spouse is continuing coverage, the spouse is the COBRA applicant. Pay the You (COBRA Applicant) Only rate.
  • If the spouse and child(ren) are continuing coverage, the spouse is the COBRA applicant. Pay the You & Child(ren) rate.
  • If only surviving spouse or ex-spouse is continuing coverage, the spouse is the COBRA applicant. Pay the You Only rate.
  • If surviving spouse and children or ex-spouse and children are continuing coverage, the spouse is the COBRA applicant. Pay the You & Children rate.

Extending COBRA Coverage

Secondary Qualifying Events

The initial 18-month period of COBRA coverage may be extended up to 36 months for your dependents in the event of death, divorce or the loss of status as a dependent child during their initial COBRA eligibility period. For these situations, COBRA coverage cannot be continued beyond 36 months.

Adding New Coverage for a Dependent

You can add eligible dependents gained through a qualifying life event (QLE), such as a birth or adoption, during your annual benefits enrollment period or within 31 days of the QLE.

Disability Extension

If you or any of your dependents are certified as disabled (Title II or XVI), you may continue COBRA coverage for up to an additional 11 months. If you think you or your dependents qualify for this extension, send ERS a copy of your Social Security Administration Notice of Award letter including the date that the disability began (the disability date needs to include the month, date and year to be reviewed).

COBRA Coverage for Unmarried Children

If you have an unmarried dependent child, they may be eligible to extend their COBRA continuation coverage beyond the initial COBRA eligibility period. For more information, contact ERS toll-free at (877) 275-4377, TTY: 711.

You can apply for a conversion policy through your health and dental plan within 30 days after your insurance under COBRA ends. We notify you 45 days before your coverage under COBRA ends. At that time, please contact your health and/or dental plan for specific information about a conversion policy.
Make your check or money order payable to GBP (Texas Employees Group Benefits Program).

Please send your first payment with your form.
 
No bills or reminder notices will be sent.
Payments are due on the first of each month, and we allow a 30-day grace period.
If your dependent child is disabled, you may be able to keep your child covered. To apply, complete the Application to Request Continuation Of Coverage For a Disabled Dependent Child, At Age 26 and Over. Send the completed form to ERS for review up to 90 days prior to your dependent child's coverage expiration date, and we will notify you of our decision.

Your coverage under COBRA extends to the end of the month, and you must pay the full COBRA rate for the month when you begin work. Your new employer will pay a portion for you and your covered dependents starting the month after you begin working.

If you do not pay the full COBRA rate for the month when you begin work:

  • we will cancel your insurance under COBRA; and
  • you and your covered dependents will not have insurance through your employer for at least 90 days.