A federal law that may permit you to retain existing coverage if your employment ends, if you lose coverage through your spouse or other qualifying events. You are required to pay 100% of the premium for coverage as well as administrative fees. As an employer, you must comply with COBRA if you have more than 20 full- and part-time employees.

Employee waiting period

This is the amount of time an insured must wait before some or all of their coverage goes into effect. You may not receive benefits for claims filed during the waiting period. Waiting periods may also be known as elimination periods and qualifying periods.

Employee census

Insurers use an “employee census” to obtain specific information to estimate the healthcare costs your group is likely to incur. A census does not include health status, race, religion, sexual orientation (even if applying for domestic partner benefits), Social Security number, or U.S. citizenship/immigration status.

Brokers and agents

Professional health insurance brokers provide expertise that can be helpful in finding a health insurance plan for your business and they can direct you to products offered by a range of companies. This is in contrast to a health insurance agent, who works with only one company and promotes that company’s products. If you do not use a broker, you will likely work with an agent at each company you contact.


A government-sponsored, or public, health insurance program that provides comprehensive publicly funded health insurance coverage to low-income residents who meet specific eligibility criteria. This generally includes those falling below certain income guidelines, or those with disabilities, children, expectant mothers and other individuals with specific healthcare needs.