Protecting what matters most

Updated June 27, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the headings below to see frequently asked questions.

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) gives you and your covered dependent(s) if any, to elect to continue coverage (COBRA) under the plan(s) in which you were previously enrolled through your employer/former employer. COBRA coverage is the same coverage that the Plan gives to other participants or beneficiaries who are not on COBRA. Each “qualified beneficiary” who elects COBRA will have the same rights under the Plan as other participants or beneficiaries covered under the plan, including open enrollment and special enrollment rights.

An employer that is subject to COBRA requirements is required to notify its group health plan administrator within 30 days AFTER an employee’s employment is terminated, employment hours are reduced or qualifying event date that caused the loss of coverage. The group health plan administrator then has 14 days to provide notice to the qualified beneficiary. Be assured that our clients are much quicker at notifying Murray Group of those that require a COBRA Election Notice and VERY SELDOM wait to notify. If you have yet to receive your notice, which will come from Murray Group and not your former employer, please email us at:
Please include your name, your former employer (or current employer if you did not terminate), your qualifying event date (termination or loss of coverage date) and a good email or phone number to reach you.

You will find the monthly premium cost of your COBRA within your COBRA Election Notice.

Employers tend to pay most of the premium, so many are unaware of the true cost of their group health plan. Premiums are the costs paid by the employer (while you were enrolled on the active plan), employee and an additional 2% for administrative costs. For qualified beneficiaries receiving the 11-month disability extension of continuation coverage the additional 11-months are charged at 150% of the plan’s total cost of coverage.

COBRA participants are given an election period of 60 days. The 60 days begins on the date you lose coverage or, the date of the letter, whichever is latest. You will find your “last day to elect” on your COBRA Continuation Coverage Election Form:

You may remain enrolled on coverage through COBRA for 18-36 months depending on your qualifying event. Please see the table below of qualifying events and months allowed on coverage through COBRA:
Qualifying Event Type(s) Who is eligible Maximum period of coverage through COBRA
Termination (for reasons other than gross misconduct), Reduction in Hours, Retirement Employee
Dependent Child(ren)
18 months
Employee enrollment to Medicare Spouse
Dependent Child(ren)
36 months
Divorce or legal separation Spouse
Dependent Child(ren)
36 months
Ineligible Dependent (loss of “dependent child” status under the plan – in most cases, the “child” is becoming 26 yrs of age) Dependent Child 36 months

Disability and 2nd Qualifying Events are the only circumstances in which your coverage may be extended.


If you or another qualified beneficiary in your family is determined by the Social Security Administration to be disabled, the maximum period of coverage through COBRA (generally 18 months, as described above) may be extended an additional 11 months for a total of up to 29 months. The disability, as stated by the Social Security Administration Award letter, must have occurred at some time prior to the 61st day after the covered employee’s termination or reduction in hours and must last at the least until the end of the period that COBRA coverage would be available without the disability extension (generally 18 months). Each qualified beneficiary that elected COBRA coverage will be entitled to the disability extension if one of them qualifies. You must notify Murray Group in writing within 60 days after the latest of:
  1. The date of the Social Security Administration’s disability determination.
  2. The date of the covered employee’s qualifying event; and
  3. The date on which the qualified beneficiary would lose coverage under the terms of Plan as a result of the covered employee’s qualifying event (termination, reduction in hours).
You must provide a copy of the Social Security Administration Award letter within 18 months after the covered employee’s qualifying event to be entitled to the 11-month extension. If you do not provide notice within the 60-day notice period and within 18 months after the qualifying event, then there will be no disability extension of coverage through COBRA. If the qualified beneficiary is determined by the Social Security Administration to no longer be disabled, you must notify Murray Group of that fact within 30 days after the determination. During the 11-month extension, your premium payment will increase to 150% of the plan’s total cost. During your 18 months of coverage under your qualifying event, your premium payment is 102% of the plan’s total cost.
If you are receiving coverage through COBRA due to divorce/legal separation, the death of the covered employee, Medicare entitlement of the covered employee, or loss of dependent child status, the maximum period of coverage through COBRA is 36 months and cannot be extended by the disability extension.

2nd Qualifying Event

A spouse or dependent child that are enrolled on coverage through COBRA, and then experience a second qualifying event, may be entitled to a total of 36 months of coverage through COBRA. Second qualifying events are death of the covered employee, divorce/legal separation, the covered employee becoming eligible for Medicare (under Part A, Part B or both), or a dependent child ceasing to be eligible for coverage as a dependent under the group plan.
  1. The initial qualifying event is the covered employee’s termination, reduction of hours, retirement, which entitles you to 18 months of coverage under COBRA;
  2. The second event such as those listed above, must occur during the initial 18 month period of continuation coverage under COBRA (or within the 29 month period of coverage if a disability extension applies;
  3. The second qualifying event would have caused the qualifying beneficiary to lose coverage under the plan in absence of the initial qualifying event;
  4. The individual was a qualified beneficiary in connection with the first qualifying event and is still at the time of the second event; and
  5. The individual notifies Murray Group of the second event (divorce/legal separation, Medicare eligibility of covered employee, child ineligibility status) within 60 days after the event.

There are two acceptable ways to elect COBRA; through our online portal or, completing your COBRA Election Notice and returning it to Murray Group.

COBRA Portal

You will find your COBRA “New Member Login Notice” on the last page (or near to last page) of your paper COBRA Election Notice. This notice includes the web address: and your unique user registration code. From the homepage, choose “NEW USER REGISTRATION”

COBRA Election Notice (paper)

Your COBRA Election Form is within your COBRA Specific Rights Notice (COBRA Election Notice). It is approximately, mid-way through the notice and is titled “COBRA CONTINUATION COVERAGE ELECTION FORM”. Elect or Waive for each family member:
If you wish to change your coverage to something other than that which is outlined on the COBRA Continuation Coverage Election Form you receive, you may choose your alternative option:
If you, the subscriber, waives coverage through COBRA and only accept coverage for your dependent(s), an application will be required. Once we receive your election, we will send you an application for completion. You can contact our office prior to sending in your election and request the application. Your dependent(s) that elect coverage will receive new ID cards with new ID numbers. Check that you have read this form… and sign the form. Your election will not be accepted if there is not a signature.

Initial Premium Payment (1st COBRA payment) The initial premium payment is due 45 days after you have elected COBRA. Although you have 45 days to make the initial premium payment, coverage will not reinstate until you have paid your initial premium payment. Once your initial premium payment has been received, reinstatement will commence in 7-10 business days. Coverage will reinstate back to your “First Day of COBRA”.

Monthly Premium Payment

COBRA Monthly Premium Payments are due on the 1st of each month. There is a grace period of 30 days from the due date for ongoing monthly premium payments. If you mail your payment, it must be postmarked within the 30-day grace period.

COBRA Premium Payment Options

We offer several premium payment options to our COBRA participants. Please see the list to find the payment option for you:
  1. COBRA Portal
    Through the COBRA portal, you may choose to use the following options:
    1. ACH – this is a free service and you can choose the date in which you would like the fund to be withdrawn from your account each month.
    2. Credit/Debit Card Payment – there is a $20 Convenience Fee for all Credit/Debit card transactions. Credit/Debit card payments are only available through the COBRA portal.
    3. Bank Transfer – with this service, you may choose the date in which you would like the funds to be withdrawn from with this 1-time payment option.
      Instructions to access the COBRA portal are above in Q3.

  2. Bill Pay Online through your personal banking institute. Many participants choose this option. If you need assistance with this option, you will need to contact your banking institute. Please provide your bank with your Member ID that you will find on your Premium Payment Coupon. Our remit to address for payments is listed at the end of this document.

  3. ACH
    The ACH Authorization Form is attached. Please completed and return to The Murray Group via US Mail or Fax number listed on the form. Payments will be deducted on the 1st of each month. If you wish to have the payment deducted on a different date, you must complete the ACH through your account on the COBRA Portal (see COBRA Portal).

  4. Check/Money Order/Cashier’s Check
    Checks can be mailed to our office at the address listed below. Premium Payment Coupons are not required to accompany the payment but, it is appreciated when they are. DO NOT SEND CASH.

  5. In Office
    Payments are accepted in our North Idaho office location only. Our Boise office is currently not able to accept COBRA premium payments.
    1. Check, Money Order and Cashier’s Checks are accepted in the office. Cash can be accepted but, we are not able to make change, any overage will be applied to the next month’s premium. We DO NOT have credit card services available in office, please use the COBRA portal to make a payment using a Credit/Debit Card.
      Mailing Address:
      Murray Group COBRA
      PO Box 3725
      Coeur d’Alene, ID 83816
      Physical Location:
      Murray Group
      330 E. Lakeside Ave., Ste 301
      Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814

No, COBRA is a continuation of the coverage in which you were enrolled at the time of your termination/separation with your previous employer. You will continue to use the same identification cards. You will only receive new cards if you are a dependent electing coverage separate of the former employer. This is also true for those dependents that were offered COBRA because of a Divorce/Legal Separation, you are a newly ineligible department, had a loss of coverage due to the employee’s Medicare acceptance or if you are a dependent of an employee who has recently passed away.

Yes, and we encourage you to look at all options available to you before choosing coverage through COBRA. The below information will assist you with individual plans provided through the Marketplace. If you’ve had certain life events (qualifying event), including losing health coverage, you may qualifying for a Special Enrollment Period (a time outside of the yearly Open Enrollment Period when you can sign up for health insurance). Depending on your Special Enrollment Period type, you may have 60 days before or following the event to enroll in a plan. If you miss your Special Enrollment Period window, you may have to wait until the next Open Enrollment Period. To see if you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period please visit: Idaho Residents: Phone: 1-877-456-1233
Outside of Idaho: Phone: 1-800-318-2596 and provide links to find local help within their websites or through a customer service representative.