Quote from the one and only Department of Labor y'all:
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events.
Other life events... as in... yup you guessed it... MEDICARE ELIGIBILITY!! Medicare can even allow for up to THIRTY-SIX MONTHS! Three whole years of additional coverage for your dependent. You can only use what you know... So why is it always sooooo expensive? It is technically a law that gives the worker and his/her family the right to keep the same health coverage at the same cost... The employer, however no longer has to pay their part. This used to be a huge burden and totally absurd compared to current premiums someone may have been paying because of how much employers used to cover....
These days... I say, ask for a COBRA packet, and know your rights. "Qualified individuals may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage up to 102% of the cost to the plan." yikes... that may sound scarier than it is with employee costs these days. When you ask for your cobra packet, don't just ask for permission or say, "can I have it for my family?" Call them to tell them what you want. Describe the law that applies to you and get your benefit! Sometimes they just don't know all the answers, but that doesn't have to keep your family from keeping the coverage they deserve.