Both Mississippi 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. Mississippi's continuation requirements apply to hospital, surgical, and medical coverage provided by fully insured health plans that are not covered by federal COBRA, including those not covered because the employer has fewer than 20 employees (MS Code Sec. 83-9-51).
Group health insurance plans must provide that employees and covered dependents whose insurance would otherwise terminate who have been covered for at least 3 months must be entitled to continue their hospital, surgical, and medical insurance for themselves and their covered dependents for 12 months following any of the following events if the event would otherwise result in a termination of coverage:
• Termination of employment or termination of membership in the class of employees eligible for coverage;
• The death of the employee;
• Divorce from the employee;
• The employee becoming entitled to Medicare; or
• A dependent child ceasing to be an eligible dependent of the employee or member.
Continuation does not have to be provided to any person:
• Who is or could be covered by any other group hospital, surgical, or medical coverage arrangement within 31 days immediately following the termination of coverage;
• Whose insurance terminated because of fraud or because he or she failed to pay any required contribution for the insurance;
• Who is eligible for federal COBRA continuation; or
• Who becomes entitled to Medicare benefits.
Continuation coverage does not include dental, vision care, or any other benefit other than hospital, ...