The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) provides workers and their families who lose their health benefits as a result of the loss of employment, the reduction of hours, or another qualifying event the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by the employer’s group health plan for limited periods of time.  Qualified individuals may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage up to 102% of the cost of the premium for coverage under the plan.

COBRA generally requires that group health plans sponsored by employers with 20 or more employees in the prior year offer employees and their families the opportunity for a temporary extension of health coverage (called continuation coverage) in certain instances where coverage under the plan would otherwise end.  The law outlines how employees and their families may elect continuation coverage, and also requires employers and plans to provide timely notice of the right to elect COBRA continuation coverage.

Florida’s mini-COBRA statute allows employees whose employer is not covered by COBRA to elect continuation coverage directly through the employer’s group health insurance carrier.