Qualified Beneficiary Law and Legal Definition

A qualified beneficiary is an individual who is a covered employee, the employee's spouse, and the employee's dependent children who are covered under the group health plan on the day before a qualifying event that is a termination of employment or reduction in hours. In some situations, a retired employee, the retired employee's spouse, and the retired employee's dependent children are also classified as qualified beneficiaries.

The term also includes an individual who must in certain circumstances be offered COBRA coverage under a group health plan, and children born to or adopted by a covered employee during a period of COBRA coverage. Agents, independent contractors, and directors who participate in the group health plan are also called qualified beneficiaries.