Once your health care coverage begins, you must continue to work the required hours each month to earn continuing eligibility. You earn continuing eligibility on a “skip-month” basis—meaning, when you work the required hours in one month, you establish your eligibility for benefits during the second month after. Here are a few examples:
- Working the required hours in April gives you eligibility in June.
- Working the required hours in May gives you eligibility in July.
- If you work the required hours in April but not enough hours in May, you will have June eligibility, but you will not have July eligibility.
Your eligibility will terminate at the end of the month in which your employment ends or if you are laid off.
If your eligibility terminates because your employment ended, you were laid off, or if you failed to work the required hours for eligibility, you may elect COBRA Continuation Coverage.
Re-establishing Eligibility/Break in Service
Your options for re-establishing benefits eligibility depend on the manner in which you lose eligibility and the timing for your return to work:
If you are laid off or terminated and return to work within 120 days from your loss of coverage date: You will re-establish eligibility on a skip-month basis. For example, if you are terminated in May and you return to work in July and work the required hours, you will earn eligibility for benefits for September.
If your employment is terminated, and you are rehired in covered employment before the end of the month in which your coverage ends: In this case, your coverage can continue without interruption. For example, if you terminate with Employer X on July 15 and are hired by Employer Y on July 18, you will remain covered in August. And, provided you work the required hours in July between both Employer X and Employer Y, you will also be covered in September.
If you are laid off or terminated and you return to work after 120 consecutive days or more: You will incur a Break in Service, and you will need to re-establish initial eligibility. However, if you are laid off for more than 120 days but you are recalled by your same employer within 12 months, your eligibility will be re-established on a skip-month basis.