Employer and/or plan administrator obligations regarding COBRA.
February 5, 2010 1:39 PM Subscribe
Does your employer and/or plan administrator have any obligation to notify you of the option to elect COBRA insurance coverage when you quit a job where you were receiving health insurance?
posted by doomtop to law & government (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I quit my job late last year (last day was August 31st). I was receiving health insurance through the company's group policy for myself, my spouse, and my child. I paid most of the premium via an automatic deduction from my regular paycheck. The employer paid some of the cost for my insurance.
After the 31st, I assumed that since I was no longer working there, I was of course no longer eligible for receive health insurance through the company's group policy. I was no longer receiving a paycheck, so I was no longer paying anything towards the policy.
We have not been able to go to the doctor since, but we haven't needed to. No one is on any regular medication or anything. However, we do need to get insurance somehow. I have been freelancing, and don't have a solution yet. (Maybe I should be asking about that.)
Just recently, I was contacted by both my employer and someone who I later found is the "plan administrator". They were "requiring" that I send them "proof of other insurance" in order to cancel my health insurance plan.
I didn't understand why this was an issue nearly six months later, assuming the plan had been canceled long ago. They explained that they were trying to cancel the plan now, but effective August 31st of last year (my last day), in order to not pay fees.
I didn't understand why they needed me to be involved in the company canceling the plan, since I was no longer paying, why would it be up to me. I was looking into it and found out about something called COBRA.
Apparently, when you quit a job that provides health insurance, the government provides a way to extend the same health insurance coverage you had been receiving. Of course, you have to pay the full premium cost, if your employer was making any contribution.
So I contacted the plan administrator to see if it was possible for me to get onto COBRA since they are canceling my policy. She contacted the employer and they say they will not allow me to enroll in COBRA because you have 60 days from when you quit in order to enroll and it is now well outside of that 60 day window.
My question is if the employer and/or the "plan administrator" had any duty to inform me of the COBRA possibility before this 60 days is up. From what I've read online, it seems to say that the plan administrator should have sent me forms to elect COBRA within 14 days of the policy being canceled. However, it doesn't say what happens if they don't. Also, I'm not sure this applies anyway, since technically they didn't even cancel it yet.