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New North Carolina Law Extends COBRA Enrollment Period for Certain Involuntarily Terminated Employees

    Client Alerts
  • June 19, 2009

On June 18, North Carolina enacted revisions to its “mini-COBRA” law giving certain involuntarily terminated employees of small business – those with fewer than 20 employees that are not subject to the federal COBRA requirements – a longer period of time to enroll in the state version of continuation coverage.  Specifically, the new law creates a special enrollment period providing certain eligible individuals with the same extended election rights as provided under federal COBRA.  Employers have 60 days from the date of enactment to notify previously involuntarily terminated employees whose maximum state continuation coverage period has not expired of their ability to elect continuation coverage at this time.  Those employees then have a 60-day period following the notice date to elect coverage.  This special enrollment provision will allow certain involuntarily terminated employees to elect coverage and receive the 65% federal COBRA premium subsidy provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, thereby allowing more laid-off employees to maintain their health insurance coverage.