Written by: Rush Dixon
There has been much confusion regarding an employee’s ability to continue their coverage after termination of employment. COBRA is a Federal law that applies to groups of 20 or more full and/or part time employees (part timers are counted on a fractional basis, depending on the hours worked; 2 half-timers counting as one full-timer for instance). Employees and their dependents may qualify for 18-36 months of coverage depending on the qualifying event that makes them eligible (except for termination for cause). Simple termination of an employee is 18 months. Divorce or death of a spouse, or a child reaching maximum age under the plan is 36 months. The employer may charge up to 102% of premium for continuation. Groups under 20 employees follow State law to determine continuation of health benefits. In Maryland, employees qualify for 18 months, DC is 3 months, Virginia is 3 months for HMO and 12months for PPO plans.