Q. Our business recently was forced to implement layoffs—and most remaining employees walked off the job. All were given a COBRA notice, but only one chose to take the coverage. Since this was a group insurance policy and only one person will now be insured, the insurer is cancelling our policy. What's our responsibility to that ex-employee? —G.B., Texas
A. COBRA requires employers with 20 or more employees to offer temporary continuation of group health care coverage to plan participants and their families for 18 to 36 months at group rates where coverage would otherwise end, such as with termination of employment.
Continuation coverage may be cut short for certain reasons, and yours is one of them. So if you no longer offer group health coverage to any of your employees after the policy is cancelled, your obligation to provide continuation coverage under COBRA ends with the termination of the policy.