Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

COBRA Continuation of Health Coverage

LANS employees and/or their dependents may be eligible to continue health benefit program coverage (medical, dental, vision, HCRA) at group rates.


Under a federal law called the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, or COBRA, LANS employees and/or their dependents may be eligible to continue health benefit program coverage (called "COBRA coverage") at group rates.

COBRA coverage includes:

  • medical
  • dental
  • vision
  • Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA) benefits

COBRA coverage is available in certain instances, called qualifying events, where health benefit program coverage would otherwise end.

You may elect to continue coverage at your own expense on an after-tax basis when the coverage you have through the plan ends.

Coverage may change as permitted or required by changes in any applicable law.


  1. LANS’ COBRA Administrator sends you a COBRA election notice within 14 days after termination of coverage.
  2. You have 60 days to decide whether to elect COBRA coverage.
  3. You have 45 days after electing coverage to pay the initial premium.

While on COBRA you may make changes to your coverage if you have a qualified "life event," and you can cancel coverage at any time.

Does COBRA affect my HCRA?

The IRS considers the Health Care Reimbursement Account (HRCA) an employee welfare benefit plan; therefore, HCRA is subject to COBRA.

If the terminated participant extends coverage through COBRA, they are allowed to submit expenses incurred through that period of coverage, up to their annual election for the plan year with the following two exceptions:

  1. COBRA does not need to be offered to qualified beneficiaries who have overspent their accounts (paid out more than their contributions) as of the date of the qualifying life event.
  2. Those who have under spent their account (ie, paid out less than their contributions), COBRA must be offered but can be cut off at the end of the year in which the qualifying event occurs.

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