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Qualified Beneficiary

Reference Number: MTAS-1551
Reviewed Date: 10/21/2022

A qualified beneficiary (QB) may be any employee, former employee, spouse or dependent child who was covered under the group plan on the day before the qualifying event date. In certain situations, a retired employee and his or her dependents also may be considered QBs.

Qualified Beneficiary (QB)
QBs are individuals who are eligible to continue coverage based on certain qualifying events. Typically, this is the employee as well as any covered dependent(s) such as a spouse or child(ren). For COBRA purposes, each covered person is considered a separate QB.

QBs may include:

  • Employee (current and former)
  • Employee’s spouse
  • Employee’s dependent child (includes QMCSO*)
  • Employee’s adopted child born to or placed for adoption during COBRA period
  • Retired employees and dependents

*Qualified Medical Child Support Order

The regulations specify that self-employed persons, agents, contractors and corporate directors are covered employees. However, these people are considered covered employees only if the employer maintains a plan covering traditional, common-law employees.