What is COBRA continuation health coverage? 

COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) is a federal law that allows you and any of your immediate family members to stay on an employer-sponsored health plan under certain circumstances. You lose or quit your job. You divorce the employee. The employee dies. You are no longer covered as a dependent due to your age.

What does COBRA do? 

COBRA requires continuation coverage to be offered to covered employees, their spouses, former spouses, and dependent children when group health coverage would otherwise be lost due to certain specific events. COBRA continuation coverage is often more expensive than the amount that active employees are required to pay for group health coverage, since the employer usually pays part of the cost of employees' coverage and all of that cost can be charged to individuals receiving continuation coverage. 

Who is entitled to continuation coverage under COBRA?

Federal law requires that most group health plans (all plans offered by the Town) give employees and their families the opportunity to continue their health care coverage through COBRA continuation coverage when there’s a “qualifying event” that would result in a loss of coverage under an employer’s plan.  

Who are the qualified beneficiaries?

Each “qualified beneficiary” who elects COBRA continuation coverage will have the same rights under the Plan as other participants or beneficiaries covered under the Plan:

  • Employee or former employee 
  • Spouse or former spouse 
  • Dependent child(ren) covered under the Plan on the day before the event that caused the loss of coverage 
  • Child who is losing coverage under the Plan because he or she is no longer a dependent under the Plan 

If I elect COBRA continuation coverage, when will my coverage begin and how long will the coverage last?

COBRA continuation coverage begins on the 1st of the month following your qualifying event and will allow you to continue your coverage for an additional 18 months at full cost to you. 

Who pays for COBRA coverage?

The employee/ qualified beneficiary is responsible for 100% of the cost.

How much does COBRA continuation coverage cost?

The monthly COBRA insurance costs depend on what a particular health insurance plan costs. Please contact Human Resources. 

Where can I go if I have questions or want more information on COBRA?

For more information on your COBRA rights to coverage, or if you want a copy of your summary plan description, contact Teodora Stockigt, Human Resources Dept., 16 Broad Street, Nantucket, MA 02554 or at 508-228-7200 ext. 7331.

For more information about your rights under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), including COBRA, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and other laws affecting group health plans, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) website at or call their toll-free number at 1-866-444-3272.  For more information about health insurance options available through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and to locate an assister in your area who you can talk to about the different options, visit