My wife had an Accounting practice and I was her only employee. She just died. Can I keep the group plan? Do I get COBRA? What if we have individual, not group, coverage and she was the insured while I was the dependent?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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A. Some carriers will allow you to keep the plan until either the next annual review or until the carrier finds a “one person plan” in a random audit. Some will require a group to hire a new employee within 90 days or else terminate the group. Try to get individual coverage as soon as possible, because once a group has no employees, the plan is terminated and COBRA is NOT offered. (COBRA is offered only to employees who leave a functioning group.)

B. Dependents that lose coverage due to the death of the policyholder are allowed to keep coverage intact. The rates will change to reflect individual (or single parent) coverage at YOUR age bracket instead of your wife’s age.

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