CFED Assets & Opportunity Scorecard
Expanded COBRA Coverage
States that expand temporary group continuation health insurance coverage to employees in firms with fewer than 20 employees who are not covered by the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), and the maximum duration of that coverage, 2010.
When employees lose their jobs, they are able to continue their employer-sponsored health coverage for up to 18 months through the implementation of COBRA in 1985. However, this federal law does not cover all employees; only individuals who worked for a company with the equivalent of 20 or more full-time workers are eligible. In order to protect the health insurance coverage of employees of small businesses, states should enact legislation that extends eligibility for continuation coverage to employees in firms that are too small to offer COBRA. Coverage under these state continuation programs (sometimes referred to as Mini-COBRA) may differ in duration, restrictions and eligibility from the coverage provided to workers under the federal law.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) expanded the federal COBRA Continuation Coverage to provide a 65% federal subsidy toward an eligible worker's COBRA premium for up to nine months. This federal subsidy was available for both federal COBRA continuation coverage and for Mini-COBRA state continuation coverage programs providing comparable coverage.
For more detailed information on consumer protections in any state, see Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute’s Consumer Guides For Getting and Keeping Health Insurance.
Expanded COBRA Coverage
|State||Did states expand |
COBRA coverage for
small firm employees? 1
|Arkansas||Yes (4 months)|
|California||Yes (36 months)|
|Colorado||Yes (18 months)|
|Connecticut||Yes (36 months)|
|District of Columbia||Yes (15 months)|
|Florida||Yes (29 months)|
|Georgia||Yes (9 months)|
|Illinois||Yes (24 months) 2|
|Iowa||Yes (9 months)|
|Kansas||Yes (18 months)|
|Kentucky||Yes (18 months)|
|Louisiana||Yes (12 months) 2|
|Maine||Yes (12 months)|
|Maryland||Yes (18 months) 2|
|Massachusetts||Yes (36 months)|
|Minnesota||Yes (36 months)|
|Mississippi||Yes (12 months)|
|Missouri||Yes (18 months) 2|
|Nebraska||Yes (12 months)|
|Nevada||Yes (36 months)|
|New Hampshire||Yes (36 months) 2|
|New Jersey||Yes (36 months) 3|
|New Mexico||Yes (6 months)|
|New York||Yes (36 months)|
|North Carolina||Yes (18 months)|
|North Dakota||Yes (36 months) 4|
|Ohio||Yes (12 months)|
|Oklahoma||Yes (6 months) 5|
|Oregon||Yes (9 months) 2|
|Pennsylvania||Yes (9 months)|
|Rhode Island||Yes (18 months)|
|South Carolina||Yes (6 months)|
|South Dakota||Yes (36 months)|
|Tennessee||Yes (15 months)|
|Texas||Yes (36 months)|
|Utah||Yes (12 months)|
|Vermont||Yes (18 months)|
|West Virginia||Yes (18 months)|
|Wisconsin||Yes (18 months)|
|Wyoming||Yes (12 months)|
1. The data provided is the maximum number of months of continuation coverage; actual duration of state continuation coverage may be less depending on the circumstances and qualifying event.
2. For certain individuals (generally 55 and older) following certain qualifying events, continuation coverage is extended to the time when the individual is eligible for Medicare.
3. In New Jersey, under some circumstances, an individual considered "disabled" may continue coverage until they are no longer considered disabled.
4. In North Dakota, except in the case of divorce, continuation coverage lasts 39 weeks. In the case of divorce, continuation coverage can last up to 36 months.
5. Information applies to non-HMO plans.