Congress passed the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) health benefit provisions in 1986. COBRA provides certain former employees, retirees, spouses, former spouses and dependent children the right to temporary continuation of health coverage at group rates. The COBRA law generally covers health plans maintained by private-sector employers with 20 or more employees, employee organizations, or state or local governments. While COBRA does not apply to plans of employers with less than 20 employees or plans in the individual market, Minnesota law provides continuation coverage to employees of small firms and those covered under health plans in the individual market. (See Minn. Stat. 62A.146-62A.148, 62A.16-62A.17, and 62A.20-62A.21).
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