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Washington, D.C., gets emergency mini-COBRA law

Washington, D.C., gets emergency mini-COBRA law

Due to the weakened economy, workers and their families nationwide are experiencing a fast-growing epidemic of health coverage losses and residents of Washington, D.C., are no exception. Washington, D.C.'s, civilian labor force, which includes people with jobs and those actively seeking jobs, declined by about 70,000 workers from July 2001 to November 2001, prompting Mayor Anthony Williams to sign an emergency "mini-COBRA" law.

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Mini-COBRA laws are state laws that are modeled on the federal COBRA law that provides a vital bridge between health plans for qualified workers, their spouses, and their dependent children when their health insurance might otherwise be cut off. Under COBRA, if you voluntarily resign from a job or are terminated for any reason other than "gross misconduct," you are guaranteed the right to continue your former employerœs group plan for individual or family health insurance for up to 18 months at your own expense.

Washington, D.C.'s, new law extends health insurance benefits for eligible members of a small employer with fewer than 20 employees for a period of three months following the loss of health insurance coverage. Eligible employees pay the full price of their health insurance and the cost may not exceed 102 percent of the group rate. Additionally, eligible employees must elect the continuation of coverage benefits and provide payment to the employer within prescribed time frames.

For more information on COBRA, see

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