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Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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My divorce was on July 21, 2011 and I was given my Cobra paperwork

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My divorce was on July 21, 2011 and I was given my Cobra paperwork stating I was covered until July 21, 2014. I just received a call and was told that my insurance ended today because my husband & I started Cobra as a married couple on Oct. 1, 2011 because he lost his job. When the company said my divorce was a new qualifying event I was pleased to have another 36 months. With NO notice I was terminated today by the firm that handles their COBRA plan. Anthem advised them I was no longer qualified. I got no notice to set up another source of insurance. What are my rights. Was the divorce a new qualifying event? Is it legal to give no notice? I am in California. The company who provides the Cobra insurance isn't answering my calls. Thank you for your help!

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

Were you receiving benefits under COBRA or Cal-COBRA?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Cobra. I made an error on the date above of Cobra beginning when I was still married. It began on Oct. 1, 2010 (not 2011). Was told divorce date of 7/21/11 was new qualifying event for 36 more months.

Hello again, Carrie, and thank you for clarifying this for me.

Thirty-six months is typically the maximum anyone can receive COBRA benefits even if a new qualifying event occurs, so if you originally started receiving COBRA benefits in 2010 and received them continuously through September 30th of this year, then the qualifying event of divorce would not typically aid in continuing benefits past the September 30th date.

Divorce is a qualifying event normally, if you were receiving health insurance as a benefit of your spouse's employer and then got divorced. However, if you were already receiving COBRA benefits at the time of divorce, it would not typically work to extend your benefits another 36 months.

If the health insurer nonetheless informed you in writing that you would have coverage until July 2014, then you could potentially pursue damages against them for breach of contract since they promised continuing coverage, at least until you are able to obtain comparable coverage, which should be January 1, 2014 when the Affordable Healthcare Act goes into effect.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate my service when I have answered your questions so I will be compensated for my time assisting you. Thank you!


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