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

West Virginia insurance law requires continuation of coverage for employees who lose insured group coverage due to an involuntary layoff. This coverage must be provided for 18 months, must be the same as the group coverage, and must be provided at the same premium rate as the group coverage (WV Code Sec. 33-16-3). However, the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) does provide for more extensive continuation requirements.
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“Conversion” is the right to convert group coverage to individual coverage when membership in the group ends. West Virginia requires that hospital, surgical, and major medical plans offer conversion to employees whose group coverage terminates for any reason, provided that they were covered for the previous three months (WV Code Sec. 33-16A-1). The converted policy will cover the employee and his or her dependents who were covered by the group policy on the date of termination of insurance (WV Code Sec. 33-16A-4). Additionally, at the option of the insurer, a separate converted policy may be issued to cover any dependent.
Last reviewed on May 11, 2015.

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