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

North Carolina law and the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) require that employees be offered the right to continue their group health coverage if they leave the group for certain specified reasons. North Carolina's law applies to all employers, regardless of size, but does not provide for continuation coverage in all the circumstances covered by the federal law (N.C. Gen. Stat. Sec. 58-53-1 et seq.). According to federal law, when comparing state and federal continuation rights, employees may use the law that is more favorable to their situation.
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North Carolina's continuation requirements apply to group policies that insure employees for hospital, surgical, and major medical expenses (N.C. Gen. Stat. Sec. 58-53-5). Employees are entitled to continue coverage for 18 months under their employer's group health plan if they lose coverage because they terminate employment or lose their eligibility under the plan. Dependents covered by the policy may also continue coverage for 18 months.
Continuation is available to any employee or covered individual who has been continuously insured under a group policy with the same employer for 3 consecutive months immediately before the date of termination from the group policy (N.C. Gen. Stat. Sec. 58-53-10). Continuation is not available to individuals who are or could be covered by any similar group plan for hospital, surgical, or medical coverage within 31 days immediately following the date of termination, or whose insurance terminated because they failed to pay any required contribution for the insurance (N.C. Gen. Stat. Sec. 58-53-15). Continuation is not required to include dental or vision care, ...

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