On April 7, 1986, a federal law was enacted: Public Law 99-272, commonly called COBRA.
This law requires the state of Texas to offer employees and dependents covered under the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) the opportunity to temporarily extend their health and dental coverage at the group rate. Continuation coverage is available only when qualifying events cause coverage under the GBP to end. Coverage under COBRA is limited to the health and dental coverage in effect at the time of the qualifying event.
Who May Continue Coverage
If you are an employee covered under the Texas Group Benefits Program (GBP), you and/or your covered dependents have the right to choose up to 18 months of continuation coverage if your coverage ended due to:
- Termination of employment for reasons other than gross misconduct (including retirement with less than 10 years of service credit with the Employees Retirement System of Texas, Teachers Retirement System of Texas or Texas Optional Retirement Program)
- Loss of UGIP eligibility due to expiration of coverage following leave without pay
- Loss of UGIP coverage eligibility due to reduction in hours
If you are a dependent covered by an employee under the UGIP, you have the right to choose up to 36 months of continuation coverage if your UGIP coverage terminates due to loss of dependent status, including such qualifying events as:
- Death of the employee who covered you as a dependent
- Divorce of the employee who covered you as a dependent
- Your marriage or attainment of age 25
- If you are other than a natural child of the employee who covered you as a dependent and you move out the employee’s household
Updated January 20, 2023