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John
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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I retired from Sysco in 1/14. At the time cobra was offered

Customer Question

I retired from Sysco in 1/14. At the time cobra was offered for a period of 18 months, than I could roll over to early retirement plan thru corp. office. I took the offer of cobra, as it was cheaper than corp deal, and would move to early retirement insurance
at end of 18 myths. I contacted my local Hr dept 2 months ago about paperwork needed to move insurance coverage. I was told not to worry a letter would be sent out notifying me, of my cobra expiring and forms to transfer over to new corp. plan. Needless to
say, no letter showed, and yesterday I was informed by Walgreens that my insurance had expired. I've left 2 messages with local HR DEPT. and nothing returned. I have scheduled surgery next week. I can't believe this happened, can they fix it? Where do I go
from here? Contact corp. office?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is John. I have over 13 years of legal and consulting experience in this area. I’m happy to assist you with your question today.
Hopefully you have this transition to early retirment insurance plan in writing. Otherwise you'll have difficulty proving this ultimately. Otherwise, either such coverage doesn't exist and someone misinformed you or the employer has neglected its fiduciary duty. The issue you'll have in the first case is HR will deny making you that promise of transition unless it was put in writing.
What can you do now? Honestly, I think you need to consider delaying that surgery until you get this insurance worked out...it may be some time before that occurs. Ultimately if you are successful, the plan or employer will be required to cover your medical costs from the date COBRA ended, but you are taking the chance that you'll win. You need to contact a local employee benefits (ERISA specializing) attorney or the Department of Labor here:http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/contactEBSA/consumerassistance.html). An attorney will probably resolve it faster, but will not be free. Ultimately you may have to sue the plan and employer to have your benefits instated.
I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, ***** ***** wish you all the best with this matter.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have 6 page "18 month qualifying event" notice addressed to me, explaining my cobra choice. I also have retirement package explaining early retirement and how to fill out forms after cobra. Is that good enough?
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
Should be enough...as long as it explains that you are able to get retiree health insurance. It's all about the plan and what it states.
Expert:  John replied 1 year ago.
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