State Continuation Coverage Update

The Virginia General Assembly approved House Bill 315, expanding the ability of a group to offer persons who become ineligible for coverage under a group health insurance policy to exercise the option to continue coverage under the group policy. Effective July 1, 2010, the measure extends the maximum length of the continuous coverage option from 90 days to 12 months. It also allows the person to pay premiums to the group in timely fashion on a monthly basis, rather than in one upfront sum.

If the group employer chooses to allow this option for all terminating group members, the employer must notify the person of this option within 14 days of the person’s loss of eligibility under group coverage. The person may then apply and pay for continuation coverage within 31 days of receiving this notice. In no event is the insurer obligated to enroll the person if notice to the insurer extends beyond 60 days of loss of eligibility under the group policy.

If you have someone who is terminated after July 1st, please call our office for the appropriate insurance forms.

Remember, those employers with 20 or more employees must adhere to the Federal COBRA guidelines.

Burman S. Clark

Burman S. Clark, RHU, CSA is the President of Muneris Benefits and a licensed insurance broker and consultant. His independent practice and focuses on employee benefits, individual life, disability, medical, and senior products. Burman has traveled extensively and provided guidance to large employer associations with regards to the Affordable Care Act.