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How Individual States Handle COBRA Insurance

Many states have enacted “Mini-COBRA” laws that give similar COBRA benefits that the federal law protects. Below is a list of states that have these health insurance continuation laws.

COBRA Eligibility

Federal COBRA Benefit

The United States COBRA Act ensures that workers have the right to continue their health insurance coverage if their group medical plan would end due to loss of employment or reduction in hours.

This law requires employers with 20 or more workers to notify former employees within 45 days of their right to elect or waive COBRA coverage, if that coverage would end. When continuing coverage is elected, the insurance is restarted and retroactive to the date it had ended. Workers may keep this insurance up to 18 months and under limited circumstances up to 36 months.

State Health Care Continuation Laws or Mini-COBRA

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 is written to allow worker continuing insurance coverage if their employer has 20 or more employees. When it favors qualified beneficiaries, state laws supersede the federal measure.

The states that go further than the federal continuation of health insurance measure are often  referred to as having Mini-COBRA laws. Depending on which state you live in, you may be eligible to hold your COBRA insurance longer than 18 months. Some states require insurance continuation when an employer has fewer than twenty employees.

Types Of Businesses Exempt From COBRA

Exempt businesses are some government employers, churches and other non-profits.

Health Insurance Continuation Laws By State

Not all states have laws regarding employee continuation of health insurance benefits. When a state does not have legislation regarding contination of work medical benefits, the federal COBRA Act insures these rights. Learn more about your state. can save you
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Short-Term Health Insurance is a popular option and available in most states to cover gaps between major medical plans.

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List Of States With Mini-COBRA Laws

In general, states with health insurance continuation laws provide similar rights as the federal COBRA act, except that businesses with 19 or fewer employees may be eligible.

  1. Arizona
  2. Arkansas
  3. California
  4. Colorado
  5. Connecticut
  6. District of Columbia
  7. Florida
  8. Georgia
  9. Illinois
  10. Iowa
  11. Kansas
  12. Kentucky
  13. Louisiana
  14. Maine
  15. Maryland
  16. Massachusetts
  17. Minnesota
  18. Mississippi
  19. Missouri
  20. Nebraska
  21. Nevada
  22. New Hampshire
  23. New Jersey
  24. New Mexico
  25. New York
  26. North Carolina
  27. North Dakota
  28. Ohio
  29. Oklahoma
  30. Oregon
  31. Rhode Island
  32. South Carolina
  33. South Dakota
  34. Tennessee
  35. Texas
  36. Utah
  37. Vermont
  38. Virginia
  39. West Virginia
  40. Wisconsin
  41. Wyoming

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The COBRA Insurance website helps workers with their insurance options while in-between employers. If you have questions about choosing COBRA, please call our Certified Insurance Specialists.

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