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I'm trying to figure out how HRAs work under COBRA. My

Customer Question
Hi. I'm trying to figure...
Hi. I'm trying to figure out how HRAs work under COBRA. My former employer recently changed health plans and under the new plan, the HRA is bundled with the medical benefit. For their COBRA participants there is no option to unbundle so I pay an additional $191.25 per month for an HRA benefit that I'll likely never be able to use because reimbursements are not allowed until a $7000 deductible has been met. Is this right?
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Delaware
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: at will
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I left voluntarily
Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Employment Law
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
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10/23/2017
Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,482
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. If by "right" you mean does it comply with COBRA law, then yes, it does. In other words, a former employee who is using COBRA is subject to the same coverage rules as current employees. If the employer's health plan bundles both the health insurance and HRA, then they can make it mandatory that those who elect COBRA choose either election in full (health and HRA) or no COBRA at all.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to reply to this answer and let me know that I covered your question, the Site will give me credit for assisting you today. Thank you

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Is it also legal that I am not able to use the HRA until I've met the $7,000 deductible? I don't understand how it's legal for them to make me pay for a benefit that I can't use.
Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 1 month ago

As long as they have the same requirements for their employees who are under their bundled plan, they can have it for those under COBRA. They cannot pick and choose and tailor what they offer COBRA employees, the law does not allow that. So, the fact that one person or some people under COBRA might not have enough expenses to be able to use their HRA does not make it unlawful. The rules must be the same, they have no flexibility under the law.

You, on the other hand, have the choice to elect COBRA with this coverage or go outside of COBRA and find the type of coverage you are looking for. That is the choice the law gives you.

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Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 1 month ago

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any further follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 23rd. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not received your rating.

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In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-marsha411jd/

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