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Benefits Administration

COBRA Continuation Rights

The law REQUIRES the State of Tennessee Group Insurance Program to send the following COBRA notice to all individuals who are plan members. You do NOT have to take any action whatsoever unless you have an event in your life such as a divorce or death (examples are listed below) that would cause a change in your benefits.

This notice is intended to inform you, in a summary fashion, of your rights and responsibilities with respect to continued coverage under the State of Tennessee Group Insurance Program. Please share this information with all eligible dependents. If your spouse and/or dependents reside at another address at time of termination, please call Benefits Administration with the alternate address so a COBRA notification may be sent directly to them.

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is a federal law that required most employers sponsoring group health and dental plans to offer employees, spouses, and their dependents the opportunity for a temporary extension of health and dental coverage at group rates if coverage ends because they experience a qualifying event. This notification does not fully describe continuation coverage or other rights under the plan. For more complete information, please refer to the Plan Document available from your agency's benefits coordinator.

The following is a list of qualifying events and the maximum number of months that coverage may be extended:

  Termination of employment (for any reason other than gross misconduct) 18 MONTHS
  Work hours are reduced below 30 hours per week 18 MONTHS
  Death of employee 36 MONTHS
  Divorce of spouse 36 MONTHS
  Dependent child no longer eligible under plan's definition
(due to marriage, reaching the age limit or change in student or tax status)
  Covered employee's entitlement to Medicare 18 MONTHS

As a participant in one of the state's health insurance plans, you and/or your dependents may be eligible to continue your insurance coverage through this provision if you experience one of these qualifying events. Your employer has the responsibility to notify Benefits Administration of your death, termination of employment, or reduction in work hours. We will then send a COBRA notification, which must be completed and returned within 60 days of the date of the notice.

You and your family members have the responsibility to inform your employer of a divorce or dependent who is no longer eligible under the plan rules within 60 days of the event. If you fail to notify us within 60 days of the event, your dependent will not be allowed to continue insurance coverage under COBRA. Also, if you joined a health plan that has a pre-existing condition clause you should provide a certificate of coverage letter. This letter, furnished by your prior insurance carrier, should state each participant's prior months of coverage and the date the coverage terminated.

There may be other health insurance coverage options for you and your family through the Health Insurance Marketplace and you could be eligible for a new kind of tax credit that lowers your monthly premiums right away. Please call 800.318.2596 or visit to see what your premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs will be before you make a decision to enroll in health insurance through the Marketplace. In addition, you may qualify for a special enrollment opportunity for another group health plan for which you are eligible (such as a spouse's plan), even if the plan generally does not accept late enrollees, if you request enrollment within 30 days.

See the COBRA brochure for additional information »