Insurance companies selling small group health plans to employers must offer the employer the option to include a continuation provision in the plan policy. Continuation plans allow a person who becomes ineligible for coverage under the group health plan the right to continue the group health plan.
How continuation plans work
- The insurance company and the employer decide how long enrollees are covered under the plan, and what the premiums will cost.
- Group health plans must also allow enrollees to continue coverage - without showing proof of insurability - if they divorce the primary enrollee or the primary enrollee dies.
- After the continuation plan ends, the enrollee can buy an individual health plan.
What you need to know before you buy a continuation plan
Losing your small group plan qualifies you for a special enrollment period outside the annual open enrollment period. You have 60 days from losing your plan to purchase a new plan. You can buy a plan through the Washington Healthplanfinder (www.wahealthplanfinder.org) or through an agent or insurance company. If you don't buy a plan during your special enrollment period, you'll have to wait until the next open enrollment period, which starts on Nov. 1.