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

Both Maryland 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 use the law that is more favorable to their situation. The Maryland law covers all employers, regardless of size, and provides for continuation rights that are in some cases similar to, and in some cases less generous than, those provided by federal COBRA (MD Insurance Code Sec. 15-401 et seq.).
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Maryland's continuation law covers hospital, medical, or surgical insurance benefits plans of all employers, regardless of size, and applies if the insured employee is a resident of Maryland. An employee who is a resident of Maryland and who has been covered by an employer's plan for 3 months and who resigns or is involuntarily terminated for reasons other than for cause is entitled to 18 months of continuation coverage (Md. Insurance Code Ann. Sec. 15-409). An individual who has been the spouse of an employee who is a resident of Maryland for at least 30 days or is a dependent child of an employee who is a resident of Maryland is also entitled to 18 months of continuation coverage if the spouse or dependent loses coverage because of the death of the employee, provided the employee was covered for the three months immediately preceding his or her death (Md. Insurance Code Ann. Sec. 15-407). An individual who has been the spouse of an employee who is a resident of Maryland for at least 30 days or is a dependent of an employee who is a resident of Maryland and who loses coverage because of divorce is ...

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