Health Care Continuation Coverage (Mini-COBRA) Laws by State

Author: Gloria Ju

The federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows employees and their dependents to continue receiving employer-provided health insurance in the event they lose their job or would otherwise lose health care coverage. COBRA applies to employers with 20 or more employees. However, the majority of states have passed their own so-called "mini-COBRA" laws that cover smaller employers or may otherwise provide greater rights than COBRA.

The following chart helps employers understand each state's health care continuation coverage requirements. States that have none are marked N/A. In the absence of state requirements, federal rules may apply.

Due to its large size, this chart is presented in a pop-up overlay. To view the chart in full size, simply click anywhere on the thumbnail image below. Then navigate the chart by clicking and dragging. To close the chart, click on the "X" in the upper-right hand corner.


State Covered Employers Qualifying Events Qualified Beneficiaries Maximum Period of Continuation Coverage Maximum Premium Payment
Federal Employers with 20 or more employees. Termination of employment (except for gross misconduct), reduction of hours, employee's death, divorce or legal separation, entitlement to Medicare, loss of dependent child status, employer's bankruptcy. Covered employees and their spouses, former spouses and dependent children. 18 months, generally; 29 months in the case of disability; 36 months if there is a second qualifying event (employee's death, divorce or legal separation, loss of dependent child status, entitlement to Medicare). 102% of the premium; 150% after 18 months in the case of disability.
Alabama N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Alaska N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Arizona N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Arkansas Employers not subject to COBRA. Change in marital status, termination of employment, termination of membership in the group health plan. Employees and their dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months prior to qualifying event. 120 days. Not specified.
California Employers with two to 19 employees. Death of the employee, termination of employment (except for gross misconduct or if business closes completely), reduction of hours, divorce or legal separation, loss of dependent status, enrollment in Medicare. Employees and their dependents who are covered by the plan on the day before a qualifying event. 36 months. 110% of the premium; 150% after 18 months in the case of disability.
  Employers subject to COBRA. Exhaustion of COBRA coverage. Individuals who have exhausted COBRA coverage and were entitled to fewer than 36 months of COBRA coverage. 36 months from the date continuation coverage began. 110% of the premium; 150% after 18 months in the case of disability.
Colorado All employers. Termination of employment, death of the employee, change in marital or civil union status, reduction of hours. Employees and their dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for six months prior to termination of coverage. 18 months. Not specified.
Connecticut All employers. Layoff, reduction of hours, leave of absence, termination of employment (except for gross misconduct), death of the employee, divorce or legal separation, eligibility for Medicare, loss of dependent status. Employees and their dependents. 30 months in the event of layoff, reduction of hours, leave of absence or termination; 36 months in the event of employee's death, divorce/separation, Medicare eligibility or loss of dependent status. 102% of the premium.
Delaware Employers with one to 19 employees. Death of the employee, termination of employment (except for gross misconduct), reduction of hours, divorce or legal separation, loss of dependent status, eligibility for Medicare, employer's bankruptcy (applicable to retirees and their dependents only). Employees and their spouses and dependent children who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months prior to termination of coverage. Nine months. 102% of the premium.
District of Columbia Employers with fewer than 20 employees. Any event that results in loss of coverage, except termination for gross misconduct. Employees and their covered dependents. Three months. 102% of the premium.
Florida Employers with fewer than 20 employees. Death of the employee, termination of employment (except for gross misconduct), reduction of hours, divorce or legal separation, loss of dependent status, eligibility for Medicare, employer's bankruptcy (applicable to retirees and their dependents only). Covered employees and their dependents. 18 months; 29 months in the case of disability. 115% of the premium; 150% after 18 months in the case of disability.
Georgia Employers with fewer than 20 employees. Any event that results in loss of coverage, except termination for cause. Employees and their covered dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for six months prior to termination of coverage. Three full months starting after the month in which coverage was lost. Not specified.
Hawaii All employers. Hospitalization or any other event that otherwise prevents an employee from working due to sickness. Covered employees. Three months following the month the employee became hospitalized or stopped working, or the period the employer continues to pay the employee's regular wages, whichever is longer. Not specified.
Idaho N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Illinois All employers. Reduction in hours, termination of employment (except if employee confessed to or was convicted of a work-related felony or theft). Employees and their covered dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months prior to qualifying event. 12 months. 100% of the premium, less the amount of any supplementary benefits that have been discontinued.
  All employers. Employee's death or retirement, divorce from the employee. Divorced/widowed spouses of any age and dependent children, upon divorce or employee's death; spouses age 55 and older and dependent children, upon employee's retirement. Two years for divorced/widowed spouses under age 55 and dependent children; until spouse's eligibility for Medicare, for spouses age 55 and older (whether widowed or divorced or employee has retired) and dependent children. 100% of the premium; after the first two years of coverage, 120% for spouses age 55 and older (whether widowed or divorced or employee has retired).
  All employers. Employee's death or retirement (if coverage not available under above law), loss of dependent coverage. Dependent children. Two years. 100% of the amount the employee and employer would pay if the dependent child were a current employee.
Indiana N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Iowa All employers. Termination of employment (including permanent or temporary layoff, approved leave of absence), employee's death, dissolution or annulment of marriage. Employees and eligible dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months prior to termination. Nine months. 100% of the premium.
Kansas Employers with two to 19 employees. Any event that results in loss of coverage. Employees and covered dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months prior to termination of coverage. 18 months. 100% of the premium.
Kentucky Employers with fewer than 20 employees. Any event that results in loss of coverage, employee's death, loss of dependent status, termination of dependency resulting from dissolution of marriage. Employees and their dependents who have been covered by the plan for at least three months. 18 months. Not specified.
Louisiana All employers. Termination of employment (except for gross misconduct), divorce, employee's death. Employees and their dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for at least three months prior to termination of coverage. 12 months; for surviving spouses over 50 years of age, indefinitely until the spouse fails to pay premiums, becomes eligible for Medicare or other group coverage or remarries. 100% of the premium.
Maine Employers with fewer than 20 employees. Temporary layoff, permanent layoff, loss of employment due to an injury or illness the employee claims is compensable under workers' compensation. Employees who have been covered by the plan for at least six months and their dependents who have been covered for at least three months. 12 months. 102% of the premium.
Maryland All employers. Termination of employment (other than for cause), employee's death, divorce. Employees who have been continuously covered by the plan for at least three months prior to termination; in the event of death or divorce, spouses who were covered 30 days prior to the event and dependents covered immediately before the event. 18 months. 102% of the premium.
Massachusetts Employers with two to 19 employees. Termination of employment (except for gross misconduct), reduction of hours, divorce or legal separation, employee's death, eligibility for Medicare, loss of dependent status. Employees and their covered dependents. 18 months in the event of termination of employment or reduction of hours; 29 months in the case of disability; 36 months for other qualifying events. 102% of the premium; 150% after 18 months in the case of disability.
Michigan N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Minnesota Employers with two or more employees. Termination of employment (except for gross misconduct), reduction of hours, employee's death, divorce or legal separation, eligibility for Medicare, loss of dependent status, employee becomes totally disabled. Employees and their covered dependents. 18 months in the event of termination of employment or reduction of hours; indefinitely in the case of total disability; 36 months for current spouse and dependent children when employee enrolls in Medicare or child loses dependent status; until former/widowed spouse becomes covered under another group health plan or date coverage would have terminated otherwise. 102% of the premium; 100% in the case of total disability.
Mississippi All employers. Termination of employment, employee's death, divorce, eligibility for Medicare, loss of dependent status. Employees and their dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for at least three months prior to termination of coverage. 12 months. 100% of the premium.
Missouri Employers not subject to COBRA. Termination of employment, reduction of hours, employee's death, divorce or legal separation, eligibility for Medicare, loss of dependent status. Employees and their dependents. 18 months in the event of termination of employment or reduction of hours; 29 months in the case of disability; 36 months for other qualifying events. 102% of the premium.
Montana N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Nebraska Employers with fewer than 20 employees. Involuntary termination of employment (except for misconduct and not including work stoppage due to labor dispute); employee's death; for victims of domestic abuse, divorce or separation from the abuser, abuser lost custody of abuse victim or voluntary or involuntary termination of abuser's coverage. Employees and their dependents. Six months in the event of involuntary termination; 12 months in the event of employee's death; 18 months for victims of domestic abuse. 102% of the premium.
Nevada All employers. Employee is on unpaid leave as a result of a total disability. Employees and their dependents. 12 months. Not specified.
New Hampshire Employers with two or more employees. Termination of employment (except for gross misconduct), reduction of hours, employee's death, divorce or legal separation, employer's bankruptcy (applicable to retirees and their dependents only), loss of dependent status, termination of the group plan. Employees and their dependents. 18 months in the event of termination of employment or reduction of hours; 29 months in the case of disability; 36 months in the event of the employee's death, divorce or legal separation, employer's bankruptcy, loss of dependent status; for surviving or former spouses age 55 or older, until the spouse becomes eligible for Medicare or another employer-based group health plan; 39 weeks in the event of group plan termination. 102% of the premium.
New Jersey Employers with two to 50 employees. Termination of employment (other than for cause); reduction of hours; employee's death; divorce, legal separation or dissolution of civil union or domestic partnership; loss of dependent status. Employees and their dependents; in the event of termination due to total disability, employee must have been covered for at least three months. 18 months in the event of termination of employment or reduction of hours; 29 months in the case of disability; 36 months in the event of the employee's death, divorce/legal separation/dissolution of civil union or domestic partnership, loss of dependent status. 102% of the premium; 150% after 18 months in the case of disability.
New Mexico All employers. Termination of employment; employee's death; divorce, annulment or legal separation. Employees and their dependents. Six months. Not specified.
New York Employers with two to 19 employees. Termination of employment, termination of membership in a class eligible for coverage, employee's death, divorce or legal separation, eligibility for Medicare, loss of dependent status. Employees and eligible dependents. 36 months. 102% of the premium.
North Carolina All employers. Termination of employment. Employees and eligible dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months prior to qualifying event. 18 months. 102% of the premium.
North Dakota All employers. Termination of employment or membership, divorce or annulment. Employees and eligible dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months prior to qualifying event. 39 weeks in the event of termination; 36 months in the event of divorce or annulment. 100% of the premium for termination; 102% for divorce/annulment.
Ohio All employers. Involuntary termination of employment (except for gross misconduct). Employees who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months prior to termination of employment, covered dependents. 12 months. 100% of the premium.
Oklahoma Employers with fewer than 20 employees. Any event that results in loss of coverage except termination of employment for gross misconduct and termination of the group plan. Employees and their dependents. 63 days; if employee had been covered by the policy for at least six months prior to termination of employment or of the group health plan, up to three months for basic coverage or six months for major medical coverage. 100% of the premium.
Oregon Employers with fewer than 20 employees. Termination of employment, reduction of hours, employee's death, eligibility for Medicare, loss of dependent status. Employees and eligible dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months prior to qualifying event. Nine months. 100% of the premium.
  Employers with 20 or more employees. Employee's death, divorce, legal separation. Employee's surviving or former spouse age 55 years or older, and dependents. Continuation coverage ends upon the earliest of: spouse becomes insured under another group health plan, remarries or becomes eligible for Medicare; failure to pay premiums; group policy terminates. Not specified.
Pennsylvania Employers with two to 19 employees. Termination of employment (except for gross misconduct), reduction of hours, employee's death, divorce or legal separation, eligibility for Medicare, loss of dependent status, employer's bankruptcy. Employees and eligible dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months prior to qualifying event. Nine months. 105% of the premium.
Rhode Island All employers. Involuntary layoff, employee's death, workplace ceases to exist, permanent reduction in workforce size, divorce. Employees and covered dependents. 18 months; in the event of divorce, until remarriage, a time provided by the judgment for divorce or former spouse becomes eligible for comparable group health insurance plan. 100% of the premium.
South Carolina All employers. Any event that results in loss of coverage except nonpayment of premiums. Employees and dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for six months. Remainder of the month in which coverage ends plus six months. 100% of the premium.
South Dakota Employers with fewer than 20 employees. Termination of employment, termination of coverage by insurer, employee's death, divorce or legal separation, eligibility for Medicare, loss of dependent status. Employees and eligible dependents. 18 months in the event of termination of employment or of coverage by insurer; 29 months in the case of disability; 36 months for other qualifying events. 102% of the premium; 150% after 18 months.
Tennessee All employers. Any event that results in loss of coverage except if group policy is terminated entirely or for the employee's insured class. Employees and covered dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months prior to qualifying event. Remainder of the month in which coverage ends plus three months; remainder of the month in which coverage ends plus 15 months, in the event of divorce or employee's death; remainder of the month in which coverage ends plus six months after pregnancy ends, for individuals who lose coverage during pregnancy. 100% of the premium.
Texas All employers. Any event that results in loss of coverage except for involuntary termination for cause, including if group policy is terminated entirely or for the employee's insured class, but not including termination for health-related reason. Employees and covered dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months prior to termination. Nine months, if not eligible for federal COBRA; six months following COBRA coverage, if eligible for COBRA. 102% of the premium.
  All employers. Severance of family relationship, employee's death or retirement. Employees' family members or dependents who have been covered by the plan for at least one year or is an infant under one year of age. Three years. 100% of the premium.
Utah Employers with two to 19 employees. Termination of employment (except for gross misconduct), reduction of hours, retirement, employee's death, divorce or legal separation, loss of dependent status, sabbatical, disability, leave of absence. Employees who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months prior to termination, and covered dependents. 12 months. 102% of the premium.
Vermont All employers. Termination of employment (except for misconduct), reduction of hours, employee's death, divorce or legal separation, loss of dependent status. Employees and dependents. 18 months. 102% of the premium.
Virginia Employers with fewer than 20 employees. Termination of eligibility for coverage. Employees and dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months prior to termination of eligibility. 12 months. 102% of the premium.
Washington All employers. Strike, lockout or other labor dispute. Employees whose salaries are suspended or terminated as a result. Six months. 100% of the premium.
West Virginia Employers with fewer than 20 employees. Involuntary layoff or termination (except for misconduct that would disqualify the employee from collecting unemployment benefits). Employees and their covered dependents. 18 months. 100% of the premium.
Wisconsin All employers. Termination of eligibility for coverage (except termination of employment for misconduct), employee's death, divorce or annulment. Employees and dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months. As long as premiums paid, individual stays in state, individual not eligible for other comparable group coverage or, for a former spouse, employee continues to participate in the plan. After 18 months, individual may be required to convert to individual policy. 100% of the premium.
Wyoming Employers not subject to COBRA. Termination of employment, membership or eligibility for coverage. Employees and dependents who have been continuously covered by the plan for three months prior to termination of eligibility. 12 months. 102% of the premium.