Must small businesses provide COBRA-Like continuation health coverage?

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in Employee Benefits Program,Firing,Human Resources

Q. My company has fewer than 20 employees. Must my group health insurance policy still provide COBRA-like continuation coverage to terminated employees?

A. Yes, although COBRA does not apply. The North Carolina Group Health Insurance Continuation and Conversion Privileges Act, which has provisions similar to the federal COBRA Act, does include small employers. Like COBRA, it:

  • Provides continuation coverage under a group health insurance plan for up to 18 months.
  • Requires that employees be allowed no fewer than 60 days to elect continuation coverage.
  • Allows for the charging of up to 102% of premiums to electing participants.

The North Carolina act, however, does not include dental, vision care, prescription drug benefits “or any other benefits provided under the group policy in addition to its hospital, surgical, or major medical benefits.”

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