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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20392
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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I started receiving social security disability in Dec. 2011.

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I started receiving social security disability in Dec. 2011. I was told I would not be eligible for medicare until Dec. 2013. During this time I have been making payments to Cobra and was notified it would stop in May 2013. I applied for an extension and was told I was not eligible because I did not apply for extension 60 days after becoming disabled. Is there anything I can do to keep Cobra for the next 6 months? Any HIPPA laws cover this?

Marilyn Holland
Pace, FL

Thank you for the information and your question and I am sorry to read about your situation. Unfortunately, the law is not flexible and is very straightforward on the issue of the extension of COBRA. To qualify for additional months of COBRA coverage, a qualified beneficiary must:
  • Have a ruling from the Social Security Administration that he or she became disabled within the first 60 days of COBRA continuation coverage, and
  • Send the plan a copy of the Social Security ruling letter within 60 days of receipt, but prior to expiration of the 18-month period of coverage.

There is no other law that can modify or change the COBRA rights. That said, you could obtain a certificate of continuous coverage and obtain regular insurance without having any restrictions for pre-existing conditions. However, that is not really part of COBRA, but is part of HIPAA. You can see much more detail about your portability rights under HIPAA by going to:


Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.

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