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Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 376
Life, Health and Accident Insurance
Section 376.428

August 28, 2004

Group health policies to continue for a period of time after termination of employment or membership in health service or maintenance organizations--state law to apply, when.

376.428. 1. A group policy delivered or issued for delivery in this state on or after one hundred twenty days following September 28, 1985, by an insurance company, health service corporation or health maintenance organization, which insures employees or members and their eligible dependents for hospital, surgical or major medical insurance on an expense-incurred or service basis, other than for specific diseases or for accidental injuries only, shall provide that employees or members whose coverage under the group policy, which includes coverage for their eligible dependents, would otherwise terminate because of termination of employment or membership shall be entitled to continue their hospital, surgical or major medical coverage, including coverage for their eligible dependents, under that group policy subject to the following terms and conditions:

(1) Continuation shall only be available to an employee or member who has been continuously insured under the group policy, and for similar benefits under any group policy which it replaced, during the entire three-month period ending with such termination. If employment is reinstated during the continuation period, then coverage under the group policy will be reinstated for the employee and any dependents who were covered under continuation;

(2) Continuation shall not be available for any person covered under the group policy who is or could be covered by Medicare, nor any person who is or could be covered by any other insured or uninsured arrangement which provides hospital, surgical or major medical coverage for individuals in a group and under which the person was not covered immediately prior to such termination;

(3) Continuation need not include dental, vision care or prescription drug benefits or any other benefits provided under the group policy in addition to its hospital, surgical or major medical benefits, but continuation must include maternity benefits if those benefits are provided under the group policy;

(4) The employee or member must request such continuation in writing within thirty-one days of the date coverage would otherwise terminate and must pay to the group policyholder, on a monthly basis, the amount of contribution required to continue the coverage. Such premium contribution shall not be more than the group rate of the insurance being continued on the due date of each payment; but, if any benefits are omitted as provided by subdivision (3) of this subsection, such premium contribution shall be reduced accordingly. The employee's or member's written request for continuation, together with the first required premium contribution, must be given to the group policyholder within thirty-one days of the date the coverage would otherwise terminate. Employers must notify their employees and members, in writing, of the duties of such employees and members under this subdivision no later than the date on which coverage would otherwise terminate;

(5) Continuation of coverage under the group policy for any covered person shall terminate upon failure to satisfy subdivision (2) of this subsection or, if earlier, at the first to occur of the following:

(a) The date nine months after the date the employee's or member's coverage under the group would have terminated because of termination of employment or membership;

(b) If the employee or member fails to make timely payment of a required premium contribution, the end of the period for which contributions were made;

(c) The date on which the group policy is terminated or, in the case of an employee, the date the employer terminates participation under a group policy. However, if this condition applies and the coverage ceasing by reason of termination is replaced by similar coverage under another group policy, then:

a. The employee or member shall have the right to become covered under that other group policy for the balance of the period that he would have remained covered under the prior group policy in accordance with the conditions of this section;

b. The minimum level of benefits to be provided by the other group policy shall be the applicable level of benefits of the prior group policy reduced by any benefits payable under that prior policy; and

c. The prior group policy shall continue to provide benefits to the extent of its accrued liabilities and extensions of benefits as if the replacement had not occurred.

2. The spouse of an employee or member whose coverage under the group policy would otherwise terminate due to dissolution of marriage or death of the employee or member shall have the same continuation privilege accorded under sections 376.421 to 376.442, 376.694 to 376.696, and 376.779 to the employee or member upon termination of employment or membership.

3. The right to a converted policy pursuant to sections 376.395 to 376.404 for an employee or member entitled to continuation of coverage under sections 376.421 to 376.442, 376.694 to 376.696, and 376.779 shall commence upon termination of the continued coverage provided for in sections 376.421 to 376.442, 376.694 to 376.696, and 376.779.

4. This section shall only apply to those persons who are not subject to the continuation and conversion provisions set forth in Title I, Subtitle B, Part 6 of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 or Title XXII of the Public Health Service Act, as said acts were in effect on January 1, 1987.

(L. 1985 H.B. 623, A.L. 1987 S.B. 337, A.L. 1988 H.B. 1242 Revision, A.L. 1991 H.B. 385, et al.)


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