Both Ohio 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 apply the law that is more favorable to their situation. Ohio law covers insured group health plans that provide hospital, surgical, or major medical benefits and covers all employers regardless of size (OH Code Sec. 3923.38).
Employees who are terminated are entitled to continue group health insurance coverage for 12 months for themselves and their eligible dependents. To be eligible, the employee must have been covered by the group plan for three months, must not have voluntarily terminated employment or been terminated for gross misconduct, must not be covered or eligible for Medicare, and must not be covered or eligible for coverage for hospital, surgical, or major medical benefits under any other insured or uninsured arrangement.
Notice requirement. The employer is required to notify the employee of the right to continue coverage at the same time the employer notifies the employee of the termination of employment. The notice should inform the employee of what the continuation coverage will cost. Additionally, each certificate of coverage or other notice of coverage issued to employees under the policy must include a notice of the employee’s privilege of continuation.
Election and premium payment requirements. The state continuation law requires that an employee file a written continuation election with the employer and pay the employer the first required contribution by the earlier of any of the ...