The Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) allows employees and their covered dependents to continue group health coverage if that insurance would end. The law requires that employers with 20 or more workers (during 50% of business days) offer a continuation of health insurance benefits if those benefits would end. Businesses must provide workers with an election of COBRA notice within 45 days of their group health plan ending. Qualified beneficiaries have 60 days to elect COBRA or formerly waive their right.
Colorado Has A Mini-COBRA Law
Similar to the federal law, the state has Title 10 Insurance Health Care Coverage law that provides workers with continuation of employer-sponsored health benefits. The difference is that it also requires small businesses with 19 or fewer employees to provide the same health benefits to workers that they had while employed.
Depending on your circumstance, you may choose the state rights over federal.
Key Differences Between Federal COBRA and Colorado’s Title 10
- Applies to employers with 19 or fewer employees
- It only applies to HMO’s
- Dependents reaching age 26 are not eligible for COBRA
- The employee must have been covered under group health plan benefits for 6 months
- The employee has only 10 days to elect coverage
For the most part, the federal COBRA act provides just as much benefit as the Colorado Mini-COBRA law, except it benefits employees of small businesses.