Both Ohio 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. According to federal law, when comparing state and federal continuation rights, employees may apply the law that is more favorable to their situation. Ohio law covers insured group health plans that provide hospital, surgical, or major medical benefits. The state law covers all employers regardless of size but provides shorter continuation (OH Code Sec. 3923.38).
An employee who is terminated is entitled to continue group health insurance coverage for 6 months. To be eligible, the employee must have been covered by the group plan for 3 months, must be eligible for unemployment compensation, must apply for coverage within 31 days of losing group coverage, must not be covered or eligible for Medicare, must not be covered or eligible for coverage for hospital, surgical, or major medical benefits under any other insured or uninsured arrangement, and must pay the full cost of coverage.
Notice requirement. The employer is required to notify the employee of the right to continue coverage at the same time the employer notifies the employee of the termination of employment. The notice should inform the employee of what the continuation coverage will cost.
Election and premium payment requirements. The state continuation law requires that an employee file a written continuation election with the employer and pay the employer the first required contribution by the earlier of any of the following dates:
• 31 days after the date on which the employee's coverage would otherwise terminate, if the employer notified ...