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Can continuation coverage be terminated early for any reason?

A group health plan may terminate coverage earlier than the end of the maximum period for any of the following reasons:

  • Premiums are not paid in full on a timely basis;
  • The employer ceases to maintain any group health plan;
  • A qualified beneficiary begins coverage under another group health plan after electing continuation coverage;
  • A qualified beneficiary becomes entitled to Medicare benefits after electing continuation coverage; or
  • A qualified beneficiary engages in conduct that would justify the plan in terminating coverage of a similarly situated participant or beneficiary not receiving continuation coverage (such as fraud).

If continuation coverage is terminated early, the plan must provide the qualified beneficiary with an early termination notice. The notice must be given as soon as practicable after the decision is made, and it must describe the date coverage will terminate, the reason for termination, and any rights the qualified beneficiary may have under the plan or applicable law to elect alternative group or individual coverage. 

If you decide to terminate your COBRA coverage early, you generally won't be able to get a Marketplace plan outside of the open enrollment period. For more information on alternatives to COBRA coverage, see question 4 above.

 

Last update on January, 26 2017 by Elizabeth Bonney.

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