(a) "Continuation coverage" means extended coverage under the group benefit plan under which an eligible employee or eligible dependent is currently covered, or, in the case of a termination of the group benefit plan or an employer open enrollment period, extended coverage under the group benefit plan currently offered by the employer.
(b) "Group benefit plan" has the same meaning as "health benefit plan" defined in Section 10700, including group policies of vision-only and dental-only coverage, provided pursuant to Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 10700) to an employer with 2 to 19 eligible employees, as defined in Section 10700.
(c) (1) "Qualified beneficiary" means any individual who, on the day before the qualifying event, is covered under a group benefit plan offered by a disability insurer pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 10700) of Chapter 8, and has a qualifying event, as defined in subdivision (d).
(2) "Qualified beneficiary eligible for premium assistance under ARRA" means a qualified beneficiary, as defined in paragraph (1), who (A) was or is eligible for continuation coverage as a result of the involuntary termination of the covered employee's employment during the period specified in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 3001 of ARRA, (B) elects continuation coverage, and (C) meets the definition of "qualified beneficiary" set forth in paragraph (3) of Section 1167 of Title 29 of the United States Code, as used in subparagraph (E) of paragraph (10) of subdivision (a) of Section 3001 of ARRA or any subsequent rules or regulations issued pursuant to that law.
(3) "ARRA" means Title III of Division B of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 or any amendment to that federal law extending federal premium assistance to qualified beneficiaries.
(d) "Qualifying event" means any of the following events that, but for the election of continuation coverage under this article, would result in a loss of coverage under the group benefit plan to a qualified beneficiary:
(1) The death of the covered employee.
(2) The termination of employment or reduction in hours of the covered employee's employment, except that termination for gross misconduct does not constitute a qualifying event.
(3) The divorce or legal separation of the covered employee from the covered employee's spouse.
(4) The loss of dependent status by a dependent enrolled in the group benefit plan.
(5) With respect to a covered dependent only, the covered employee' s entitlement to benefits under Title XVIII of the United States Social Security Act (Medicare).
(e) "Employer" means any employer that meets the definition of "small employer" as set forth in Section 10700 and (1) employed 2 to 19 eligible employees on at least 50 percent of its working days during the preceding calendar year, or, if the employer was not in business during any part of the preceding calendar year, employed 2 to 19 eligible employees on at least 50 percent of its working days during the preceding calendar quarter, (2) has contracted for health care coverage through a group benefit plan offered by a disability insurer, and (3) is not subject to Section 4980B of the United States Internal Revenue Code or Chapter 18 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. Section 1161 et seq.
(f) "Core coverage" means coverage for hospital, medical, or surgical benefits provided under the group benefit plan that a qualified beneficiary was receiving immediately prior to the qualifying event, other than noncore coverage.
(g) "Noncore coverage" means coverage for vision and dental care.
(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 24, Sec. 6.)