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

The federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) permits 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 most favorable to their situation. The Texas continuation and conversion requirements cover hospital, surgical, and major medical plans sponsored by all employers, regardless of size, but do not cover self-insured plans (Tex. Ins. Code Sec. 1251.251 et seq.). The maximum continuation period for individuals not covered by federal COBRA is nine months. For individuals covered by federal COBRA, six additional months of continuation coverage under Texas law must be provided following any period of continuation coverage provided under COBRA (Tex. Ins. Code Sec. 1251.255).
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Employees and their spouses and dependents not covered by federal COBRA who were covered for the previous three months must be allowed to continue group coverage for nine months after the employee loses coverage for most reasons (Tex. Ins. Code Sec. 1251.252). Continuation does not have to be provided for coverage that ended because the employee was "terminated for cause."
Continuation may not terminate until the earliest of:
• The end of the required continuation period;
• The date on which a failure to make timely payments would terminate coverage;
• The date on which the group coverage terminates in its entirety;
• The date on which the covered person is or could be covered under Medicare;
• The date on which the covered person is covered for similar benefits by another plan or program;
• The date the covered ...

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