Colorado Health Insurance Continuation (COBRA): What you need to know

The federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives employees the right to continue their group health insurance coverage if they leave the group for certain specified reasons. Colorado has a similar law that covers more employers but offers less protection.
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According to federal law, when comparing state and federal continuation rights, employees may use the law that is more favorable to their situation.
Colorado's continuation requirements for terminated employees cover all group accident and sickness policies (Colo. Rev. Stat. Sec. 10-16-108).
Every covered employee whose employment is terminated must be allowed to elect to continue that coverage for himself or herself and his or her dependents (if the policy remains in force for active employees of the employer). An employee is eligible to elect continuation for himself or herself and for his or her dependents if:
• The employee's eligibility to receive insurance coverage has ended for any reason other than discontinuance of the group policy in its entirety or for an insured class;
• Any premium or contribution required from or on behalf of the employee has been paid to the termination date; and
• The employee has been continuously insured under the group policy, or under any group policy providing similar benefits that it replaces, for at least six months immediately before termination.
Continuation need not be provided to individuals covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
Continuation coverage must be provided for 18 months to employees and dependents who lose coverage for the following reasons:
• The termination of employment of an eligible ...

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