Group Life Insurance Plan Continuation Coverage and Conversion Requirements

Continuation Coverage

Minnesota law requires group life insurance plans to permit employees who are voluntarily or involuntarily terminated from employment the option to elect to continue the coverage for the employee and his or her dependents. Termination does not include discharge for gross misconduct.218

The employee is eligible to continue coverage for 18 months after termination, or until the employee becomes covered under another group life insurance plan, whichever is shorter.219

The employer has the duty to inform the employee within 14 days after his or her termination or layoff of:

  • the employee’s right to continue the life insurance coverage;
  • the amount the employee must pay monthly to the employer to retain the coverage;
  • the manner in which and where the employee must send the payment; and
  • the time by which the employee must make payments to the employer in order to retain coverage.

The notice must be in writing and sent by first class mail. The employee has 60 days within which to elect coverage.220

Conversion to Individual Policy

Group life insurance plans required to follow Minnesota law with regard to continuation coverage (above) are also required to allow a covered employee, a surviving spouse, or dependent the ability to obtain from the insurer an individual policy of insurance providing the same or substantially the same benefits. The employee, spouse, or dependent does not have to provide further evidence of insurability to obtain the conversion policy and coverage must not be interrupted.221

CREDITS: This is an excerpt from An Employer’s Guide to Employment Issues in Minnesota, provided by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development & Linquist & Vennum P.L.L.P., Tenth Edition, 2009. Copies are available without charge from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Assistance Office.

This post is also part of a series of posts covering the Continuation of Group Health and Life Insurance Coverage Law (COBRA). This information is not legal advice. You should consult with an experienced employment attorney before dealing with COBRA-related employment issues.

218 Minn. Stat. § 61A.092, subd. 1 (2005).
219 Minn. Stat. § 61A.092, subd. 2 (2005).
220 Minn. Stat. § 61A.092, subd. 3 (2005).
221 Minn. Stat. § 61A.092, subd. 5 (2005).