Both Arkansas law and the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) permit employees to continue their group health coverage if they leave the group for certain specified reasons. Arkansas law covers all employers regardless of size but provides for much shorter continuation periods than federal law. According to federal law, when comparing state and federal continuation rights, employees may select the law that is most favorable to their situation.
Arkansas law requires that every group health insurance policy providing hospital, surgical, or major medical coverage provide that an employee or spouse whose coverage under the policy would otherwise terminate due to termination of employment or a change in marital status may continue coverage for themselves and their eligible dependents for up to 120 days (AR Stat. Sec. 23-86-114). To be entitled to continuation coverage an individual must have been insured continuously under the group policy during the 3-month period before the termination of employment or change in marital status.
The requirement does not apply to accident-only or specified disease policies and need not include benefits for dental care, vision services, or prescription drug expenses.
Continuation coverage does not have to be provided to individuals who are eligible for:
• Full coverage under any other group policy that provides benefits for all of the individual's preexisting conditions.
Continuation coverage may be terminated before the end of the 120-day period if the individual fails to pay his or her premium on time, the individual becomes eligible for Medicare, all preexisting condition exclusion periods under another ...