We were recently approached by a woman who was interested in buying health insurance for herself and her husband. She was very concerned because she had been laid off from her job 3 months earlier and hadn’t had any insurance. To complicate her situation she had a pre-existing condition. Could we help? It didn’t take us long to realize this woman had been eligible for Cobra. She didn’t really know what Cobra was but she knew she hadn’t been offered anything by her ex-employer. The problem was she should have been offered it 3 months earlier. What can be done now?
Cobra is a Federal Requirement. Companies employing 20 or more employees that offer health insurance must offer Cobra for terminated employees and their covered family members. Cobra is offered based on qualifying events of which termination is one. Other examples include divorce and aged dependents.
In the situation of our client, we contacted her prior employer. They actually had out-sourced their Cobra administration and we contacted that company as well. It took many phone calls and polite pressure but our client was offered the Cobra benefits she had been entitled to back to her termination date.