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COBRA Law

Most people are unaware of COBRA law. They tend to ask questions like what are COBRA laws, COBRA termination, and COBRA violation? People may turn to Experts for insights or solutions. Listed below are five of the Top COBRA Law Questions.

What is COBRA?

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, is also known as COBRA. In 1986 is when COBRA came to be a law. COBRA grants someone the right to decide to continue with health insurance benefits that the individual could lose behind from decreasing the individual’s employment hours, leaving their job, or being fired from work. The individual could maintain the insurance up to eighteen months. In some cases, some individual’s might maintain it a little longer.

Can a COBRA policy be terminated if paid one day late if the insurance cashed the check and then sent the termination letter?

If the check was not postmarked on time, this is the fault of the insured and not the insurer. If they cashed the check and have not sent a refund this is something you can argue with them. However, the insurer has the right to terminate the policy immediately if payment is not received or postmarked in accordance with the terms of the policy. This means that if the insurer does not agree to reinstate you could complain to the department of labor, which oversees COBRA, but all they will review is whether or not the terms of the policy were complied with.

What are the limitations if an employer does not offer COBRA to an employee in a timely manner?

• IRS excise tax penalty of $100 per day for each violation. This fine can be increased to $200 for each day in which there was more than one Qualified Beneficiary per family.
• An ERISA penalty of $110 per day payable to each Qualified Beneficiary for each day the employer was not in compliance.
• The employer can be held liable for payment of legal fees, court costs and even for medical claims incurred by a Qualified Beneficiary.

Thus for each beneficiary, it is $110.00 per day, plus attorney's fees and cost. The problem is that you have to prove that they did not send you a COBRA notification. They will probably say that they did send it out, and you must not have received it.

Can individuals qualify for longer periods of COBRA continuation coverage?

In most situations, yes, disability can extend the 18 month period of continuation coverage for a qualifying event that is a termination of employment or reduction of hours. To qualify for additional months of COBRA continuation coverage, the qualified beneficiary must:

• Have a ruling from the Social Security Administration that he or she became disabled within the first 60 days of COBRA continuation coverage
• Send the plan a copy of the Social Security ruling letter within 60 days of receipt, but prior to expiration of the 18-month period of coverage

If these requirements are met, the entire family qualifies for an additional 11 months of COBRA continuation coverage. Plans can charge 150% of the premium cost for the extended period of coverage.

Can someone get COBRA if they was terminated while out on STD?

Any time you are terminated from employment you are entitled to COBRA benefits. The employer should have sent you a notice for COBRA and if they have not, you need to contact the state department of labor and file a complaint.

COBRA Law is a diverse topic; it can cover a lot of issues or situations one after another. Often times individuals turn to Experts with questions such as what are COBRA laws, COBRA insurance law, and federal COBRA law.

Ask an Employment Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 8125
Experience:  JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
4460311
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
characters left:
8 Employment Lawyers are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Employment Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Tina
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 8118
JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 11097
Licensed Attorney with 28 yrs. exp in Employment Law
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 10590
Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.

Recent COBRA Questions

  • I have worked in Minnesota national health care corporation

    I have worked in Minnesota for a national health care corporation for 26 years. I was on approved medical leave for 1 1/2 months this time last year. After returning to work for 2 1/2 months I was told I had lost my benefits due to not meeting the mandatory hours worked per week. I then went on COBRA for two months until it was discovered (by me) that I had been wrongly classified when returning from the medical leave. My benefits should have continued uninterrupted. It took 5 months for my employer to correct the mistake. During that time I accrued several thousands of dollars in medical and pharmacy charges that should have been covered 100% by my insurance. Despite my employer "working on getting this fixed" the bills are still outstanding. And now one of the accounts ahs been turned over to a collection agency. My credit score has dropped significantly because of this and "a history of late payments". What recourse do I have
  • I submitted a letter of resignation on Dec. 23 2014 with an

    I submitted a letter of resignation on Dec. 23 2014 with an end date of Jan. 9, 2015, at approx 1 pm. By 4:20 pm I was called into the office and informed that they had decided that there was no need for me to return to work the week of Jan. 5 - 9, 2015, due to the department closure of Dec 24th thru Jan. 1, 2015. I had pre-approval of PTO time for Dec. 24 -, 2014 thru Jan. 2, 2015. I was also informed that although they had made the decision that I should not return, they would pay me in-lieu of for the week of Jan 5 - 9, 2015 (which they did) and that my end date would remain Jan 9, 2015. I received COBRA paperwork which stated that my last date of hire was Dec, 23, 2014 and all of my benefits terminated Dec 31, 2014. Now, my Director was pissed off that I was resigning (confirmed by the VP secretary). Now I have no benefits and my last day worked is different from my resignation letter. Is this legal? Can I force/request that be corrected to what was agreed to of Jan. 9, 2015?
  • ,I have been on long term disability from my former

    Hello, I have been on long term disability from my former large company which is all over the USA. Former company pays my cobra and offers me secondary health insurance.

    In 2001, former company required that I apply to Social Security for Disability income and Medicare. I got approved? Is that allowed that Medicare be my primary insurance being that the company has thousands of employees?

    The main thing that I am trying to figure out, is there, a standard rule or does my former company decide whether or not my secondary insurance company pays all of the cost of my medical visit if a provider either opts out of Medicare or does not accept assignment with medicare? Or am I responsible for the cost that the opt out provider charges?

    My secondary always paid in full for my medical claims when Medicare denied due to an opt out provider based on fair and customary cost based on my zip code. All of a sudden my secondary is now saying no we do not cover the opt out providers cost. Who decides that rule?

    I never can get a straight answer from them since each time I call something different is said. My former employer routes these kind of calls to the health insurance company.

    Claim Codes: 5M* Medicare pays benefits before your group health plan. Since the patient used a provider who opted out of medicare, we processed this claim after estimating how much medicare parts a and/or b would have covered based on billed charges. The patient is responsible for the difference between the billed charge and the amount paid by this plan.

    Who would be the correct decision maker on this issue? Is that true that no matter what my health insurance claims would never pay out more than Medicare's estimated amounts?

    Thank you...

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