En español | COBRA is a temporary extension of the health insurance you had while working — same coverage, but you pay the employer’s share of the premiums as well as your own. Because COBRA does not count as insurance from active employment, you will not be protected from delayed coverage and late penalties if you wait to enroll in Medicare later than you should.
Therefore — regardless of how many months of COBRA coverage you’re offered — if you’re retiring before or at age 65, you should sign up for Medicare during your seven-month initial enrollment period (IEP), which expires three months after the month in which you turn 65. Or, if you delay Medicare enrollment beyond age 65 because you have health coverage from a current employer (your own or your spouse’s), you should enroll no later than eight months after the employment ends, when your special enrollment period expires.
Can you have COBRA as well as Medicare? That depends on when you become entitled to Medicare: