Participants in plans with 2-19 employees can qualify for 3 months.
56-7-2312. Continuation of terminated group coverage Conversion
(a) A group policy delivered or issued for delivery in this state that provides hospital, surgical or major medical expense insurance, or any combination of these coverages, on an expense incurred basis, but not a policy that provides benefits for specific diseases or for accidental injuries only, shall provide that an employee or member whose insurance under the group policy has been terminated for any reason, except discontinuance of the group policy in its entirety or with respect to an insured class, and who has been continuously insured under the group policy, and under any group policy providing similar benefits that it replaces, for at least three (3) months immediately prior to termination, shall be entitled to have the coverage nonetheless continued under the group policy for the fractional policy month remaining at termination, plus three (3) additional policy months upon payment in advance to the employer of the full group premium for this continuation of coverage, including any portion of the premium usually paid by the person's former employer on or before the beginning of each month's coverage.
Compare Tennessee COBRA Health Alternatives in the green box near the top.
(b) At the end of the period of continuation, the person shall be entitled to have issued to the person by the insurer a policy of health insurance that conforms to the applicable requirements specified in this chapter.
(c) An employee or member shall not be entitled to have coverage continued if the group policy was terminated in its entirety or was terminated with respect to an insured class of which the employee was a member, but the employee shall have the right of conversion upon termination of the group policy. An employee or member shall not be entitled to have coverage continued or a converted policy issued to the employee if termination of the employee's insurance under the group policy occurred because:
(1) The employee failed to pay any required contribution;
(2) The employee is eligible for medicare under Title XVIII of the federal Social Security Act, compiled in 42 U.S.C. § 1395 et seq.; or
(3) Any discontinued group coverage was replaced by similar group coverage within thirty-one (31) days.
(d) (1) This section shall apply to individuals who are terminated from group coverage because of divorce or because of the death of the insured spouse, except that an individual to whom any of the foregoing applies shall be entitled to have the coverage continued under the group policy for the fractional policy month remaining at termination plus up to fifteen (15) additional policy months upon payment in advance to the employer the full month's group premium for this continuation of coverage on or before the beginning of each month's coverage, including any portion of the premium usually paid by the employer. This subsection (d) does not prohibit a group policy from granting a longer period of continued coverage than provided in this subsection (d), nor from offering broader coverage than provided in this subsection (d), nor from granting coverage after the death of the insured spouse as otherwise provided. Individuals whose group coverage is terminated during pregnancy shall be entitled to have their coverage continued under the group policy for the fractional month remaining at termination plus a period of not less than six (6) months after the pregnancy ends and not more than the end of the second three-month period following the three-month period within which the pregnancy ends.
(2) Subdivision (d)(1) is applicable to all health benefits policies, plans, programs or contracts offered by commercial insurance companies, nonprofit insurance companies, prepaid plans, including health maintenance organizations, and to all health benefit programs provided state government employees.
Under COBRA, a terminated employee is entitled to continue his or her group health insurance for 18-36 months. The employee is entitled to the same coverage as current employees, since it is a seamless continuation of the current plan.
Cobra Insurance Notice
Most problems and confusion regarding COBRA Insurance involve misinformed employers who aren't aware they're supposed to offer employees COBRA. Read our Sample COBRA Notice. Also some employees thinking they should get their COBRA upon termination. Read about COBRA notification time requirements.
COBRA Insurance Cost
The 65% COBRA subsidy was for employees losing their health insurance from
Sept. 1, 2008 to after May 31st, 2010. That was part of the stimulus bill. Now the employee will be required to pay the full cost of health insurance, including any portion formerly paid by the employer. In addition, the employer can charge a 2% COBRA administration fee, bringing the total payment to 102% of the premium.
Who Qualifies for COBRA?
Employers with over 20 full time employers usually have to offer COBRA to an employee within 45-60 days of the qualifying event. Qualifying events include the employee losing their health insurance for a variety of reasons including a reduction in hours or termination. Dependents who lose insurance for other reasons, such as divorce, also qualify for COBRA. Exceptions include employees terminated for willful gross misconduct, employers with less than 20 total employees, non profits or churches organizations.
No Mini Cobra Coverage
47 of the 50 U.S. states have COBRA laws that cover smaller employers, generally called state mini-cobra laws. States that have not passed a mini-cobra law include Alabama, Alaska, and Delaware.
Among States that have mini-cobra laws, the lengths of coverage vary from 30 days to 36 months. Please refer to our Mini State COBRA Law Directory.
Written by Craig J. Casey
Craig Casey is an Writer, Coach, Blogger, Husband, and Former Health Insurance Agent helping people on the web since 1999 with their health insurance problems.
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Employers who offer group health care plans to a minimum of 20 employees must comply with ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974). The Federal version or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA), requires that most group health plans provide 18-36 months of continuing health insurance.