Health Insurance Continuation

What Small Employers in Oregon Need to Know

Oregon State Continuation is the state equivalent to federal COBRA for employers with fewer than 20 employees and others not subject to COBRA law. State Continuation is available to employees and dependents, for up to 9 months, following a group health termination event. Changes were made to the State Continuation laws during the last legislative session and the State of Oregon has now released a comprehensive fact sheet for employers.

The 2011 changes include:

  • A  requirement that insurance companies notify employees of their eligibility. Previous to this no one was required to notify employees of the option, so many employees remained unaware.
  • Employees are now eligible for continuation when the loss of coverage is due to a reduction in hours. The law was originally written to allow coverage only upon termination.
  • Spouses and dependents may now choose state continuation, even if the employee is ineligible or declines. Two examples of the type of spousal or dependent coverage are:
    • The employee is on Medicare but a spouse is not Medicare eligible and still needs group coverage. (Available for up to 9 months).
    • An employee divorces or dies. Their spouse and/or children are eligible for up to 9 months of continuation on the employees’ group plan.

Click here to view the State Continuation Fact Sheet.