The COBRA Game

An Original Case Study Based upon Real-life Events


  • Samuel Rohr Saint Mary's College (IN)
  • Sarah Sanders Smith Purdue University Northwest


Business ethics has become an important component for external certification of higher education curricula and programs. This case profiles the decision-making of an MBA student as he makes choices regarding his family's health insurance coverage while moving from his original employer, a hospital, to a new health care clinic. The health care clinic's benefits administration team has chosen a 90-day waiting period for new employees, before group health insurance would be available to new employees. Cost concerns for the affected family are increased when the real cost of the family's health care monthly premium is realized. These concerns are further confounded by interpretation of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) guidelines for notification, acceptance, and premium payment. To compound the COBRA decision, the employee must also consider how the Affordable Care Act (2010) and the Health Insurance Marketplace may, or may not affect the family's transition with regards to retaining health insurance benefits during his transition.


Keywords: Business ethics, benefits, health insurance, personnel law






How to Cite

Rohr, S., & Smith, S. (2021). The COBRA Game : An Original Case Study Based upon Real-life Events. Journal of Human Resources Education, 15(1/2), 10–18. Retrieved from