The Cobra laws are federal affecting companies across the nation that have more than 20 employees. Each state was allowed the option to add in their own requirements. Minnesota liked Cobra so much the state requires any employer in MN that has TWO or more employees on a medical, dental or group life plan, to offer continuation of any or all of those plans to an employee or dependent that lost coverage due to a termination of employment or eligibility.

Key Point:

  • The employee and EACH of his or her dependents has the SAME Continuation rights. It is not the whole family or none. Each person has their own rights.
  • Minnesota gives you ten days from the date coverage is terminated to give the employee notice of their rights
  • Each eligible person has 60 days to elect Continuation
  • Each person has an additional 45 days to remit premiums to the Employer. Coverage terminates with small group the end of the month of termination. An Continuation Beneficiary has to pay the premiums BACK to the date of termination.

So what is the process?

  • Employment ends, the Employer representative notifies the carrier to terminate the coverage at the end of the month of termination
  • Notice of Continuation Rights and premiums is given to the Cobra Beneficiaries within ten days of the end of the month. Be sure to be able to document the employer did send the notices.
  • Nothing is received back, the employer does nothing. The Cobra Beneficiary does NOT have to say No. Only has to say Yes if electing to continue coverage.
  • The Cobra Beneficiary returns the notice electing coverage.
  • The employer contacts the insurance carrier and informs them to put the terminated person back on the plans, coverage is effective back to the date it terminated.
  • The Cobra Beneficiary has 45 days from the election notice to remit premiums back to the Employer.