News & Resources

Mini-COBRA in Pennsylvania

August 01, 2017

Do I need to offer my employees COBRA in Pennsylvania?

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, better known as COBRA, requires employers with group health plans to offer temporary continuation of group health coverage for certain circumstances.  COBRA applies to all group health plans by private-sector employers with 20 or more employees.  Detailed information can be found at: https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/health-plans/cobra

What if one is a business in Pennsylvania and has less than 20 employees?  Does this mean that they do not need to offer COBRA to their employees?  The answer is not a simple yes or no.  The employer does not need to offer COBRA, however in Pennsylvania if one has between 2 and 19 employees and offers group health coverage, then they must offer mini-COBRA, which has a different set of rules than COBRA.  Detailed information can be found at:

What is Mini-COBRA?

Mini-COBRA, also known as Act 2 of 2009, was created to extend health care options to newly unemployed who worked for small businesses that were not covered by COBRA.  This act was created prior to the Affordable Care Act.  Employers in Pennsylvania who offer health coverage are required to offer employees Mini-COBRA when they become eligible.

Mini-COBRA FAQ’s

Below are some FAQ’s regarding Mini-COBRA that are different than COBRA:

  • Mini-COBRA is available for a shorter length of time which is nine months with no extensions.
  • Mini-COBRA law only requires the continuation of medical insurance and does not include other benefits such as dental and vision.
  • The participant may be charged up to 105% of the premium rate. This rate is paid on a monthly basis.
  • Timing of notices:
    • Employer must give notice to employee within 30 days
    • Employee must give response to employer within 30 days from receiving the notice
    • Employer must update insurance within 14 days of receiving response

If you need assistance with administering your COBRA or Mini-COBRA, call us at Loyalhanna, we would be happy to help! 724-672-4300 or contactus@loyalhannagroup.com