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Jack R.
Jack R., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Review contracts for major corporations
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COBRA health insurance coverage question

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I work for a European Oil & Gas company. it is a large multi-national composed of a group of companies. They have LLC's incorporated in the USA which I am working for right now.  While I started working for them in Dubai I then transferred to the USA.  Now in the USA, after 7 months of employment I have resigned from the job. I asked the US HR department about continuing health benefits under COBRA. The response I have been given is that as I am resigning with my "base company" which is outside the USA I am not eligible for COBRA!!


 


At this time I was on the US entity's payroll and believe I have COBRA coverage and maybe need to educate the HR person a bit.


 


Do you think there is any way they might be right? that I am not eligible? 


 


What response can I sent to our HR that will convince them I am covered/eligible.


 


Does COBRA coverage require me to show that I am actively looking for a job in the USA?


 


Let's say if we looked at it from company's point of view and I were resigning from the "base company" outside the USA can they deny me COBRA coverage? (though i don't agree with that because I am employed in the USA by a company incorporated here)

Thank you fr choosing Just Answer

 

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Does a U.S. registered company (LLC) give you a paycheck, or are you paid by the "base" company.

 

This information will help me provide a better answer ?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am paid via a bank transfer by the US registered company (not paid by the international company). The w2 form for 2012 is also from us company

Thank you for our response. In my opinion your are entitled to COBRA benefits. The Ire's final COBRA regulations provide a clear example:

 

A U.S. subsidiary of a foreign corporation with fewer than 20 employees is subject to COBRA if the controlled group has 20 or more employees worldwide.

The prior example shows that even if the bulk of the company is oversees the U.S. employees are covered by COBRA. You can tell your employer this is what is required. You can also tell your employer to contact the Department of Labor Office for clarification. If your employer still refuses then you should report the violation to the Department of Labor. I believe it is actually the IRS that will fine the company for violations.

 

Any employer with employees working in the United States must follow U.S. employment law for those employees. This not only includes COBRA but FMLA , health insurance and other U.S. Employment laws.

 

BotXXXXX XXXXXne If you were a participant in an Employer sponsored health Plan than COBRA should be offered to you on termination.

 

COBRA does not require you look for a position. COBRA is not like unemployment in that regard.

 

 

If you found this answer useful please press the appropriate quality of service button of 3 or greater. This is needed so I can get credit for my answer. If you have follow up questions please ask.

 

This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship.Information provided here is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information.

 

 

 

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I think cobra regulations apply to a resignation event and they are implying i am resigning from the base country and not from the us company. Can they not make the claim that i have not resigned in usa?

No, you are an employee in the U.S. and are subject to U.S. law. If they refuse to provide COBRA you should contact the Department of Labor. You are paid by the U.S. company therefore you work for that company U.S. laws.

 

If you found this answer useful please press the appropriate quality of service button of 3 or greater. This is needed so I can get credit for my answer. If you have follow up questions please ask.

 

This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship.Information provided here is not legal advice. Rather it is simply general information.

 

 

 

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