What Is COBRA?

by Kelly Mulloy Myers, Lawyer Referral Service Panelist

COBRA is a federal law that provides former employees, retirees, spouses, former spouses, and dependent children the right to continuation of health coverage for a period of at least 18 months.  Group health plans for employers with 20 or more employees are subject to COBRA.  Employees of smaller companies also have some health care continuation rights under Ohio state law.

Under COBRA, an insured whose coverage ends because of an employment termination, divorce, death of the covered employee, or loss of dependent child status will have the opportunity to elect COBRA coverage.  An employer may and typically does require the employee or dependent to pay the entire premium amount plus a two percent fee for administrative costs.

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