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Ohio Health InsuranceIndividuals and Families

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Information on COBRA in Ohio

Continuation of group coverage / COBRA

You have the right to temporarily continue group coverage if you lose a job with employer-sponsored health insurance. The number of employees at the job you left will determine how it may work.

Ohio's continuation law

If your employer has two to 20 workers, you can continue under the ex-employer's group coverage for six months, if you:

  • Were covered for three months prior to termination,
  • Are eligible for unemployment,
  • Pay the plan's full cost,
  • Are not eligible for Medicare, and Apply within 31 days of losing group coverage.

Federal continuation law: COBRA

If you leave a company with 20 or more employees, you can temporarily continue the ex-employer's group coverage under a federal law known as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).

COBRA does not apply to plans sponsored by the federal government and some church-related organizations.

The employer must notify you of your rights under COBRA within 30 days after you leave the group. Once you're notified, you have an additional 60 days to apply for coverage.

You will be responsible for the full premium plus two percent for administrative fees.

Coverage under COBRA is temporary and ends after:

  • 18 months, in most cases;
  • 29 months if you become eligible for Social Security disability during the first 60 days of COBRA continuation;
  • 36 months if you were insured through your spouse's job or parent's job and that individual becomes eligible for Medicare, dies, or you lose your dependent status;
  • The employer goes out of business or stops offering an employee group plan;
  • You fail to pay the premium.

Once COBRA ends you can apply within 31 days to convert (see below) to an individual policy provided by the group's insurer under Ohio's Basic or Standard plan, unless the employer is self-insured.

Ask the human resources office for a booklet on COBRA. Or contact the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration at 1-866-444-3272.

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