Georgia COBRA (Health Insurance Continuation) laws & HR compliance analysis

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

Both Georgia law and the 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. Unlike federal COBRA, Georgia's continuation law covers employers with fewer than 20 employees, and except in the case of individuals aged 60 years or older, Georgia provides for shorter continuation periods than does the federal law.
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Georgia's healthcare continuation law applies to hospital, surgical, and major medical coverage provided by an insured group healthcare plan in the state (Ga. Code Ann. Sec. 33-24-21.1). An individual is eligible for continuation coverage if he or she lives in Georgia and has 18 months of aggregate creditable coverage and is not eligible for any of the following types of coverage:
• Another group health plan, including federal COBRA continuation coverage;
• Medicare Part A or Part B; or
• Medicaid.
Individuals whose coverage under a group plan has been terminated and who have been continuously covered for at least six months immediately before such termination are entitled to have their coverage and the coverage of his or her eligible dependents continued for the balance of the policy month remaining at termination plus three additional policy months. An individual is not entitled to continuation if the termination of coverage occurred because of the following:
• The employee was terminated for cause;
• The employer failed to pay any required contribution;
• Any discontinued group ...

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