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Complaint 0 of 0 in "COBRA or Coordination of Benefits"

Insurance Carrier: Blue Cross Blue Shield
State: Georgia

Consumer Complaint:

I lost my job March 5,2009. I had been with the company for 2 years with full health insurance coverage. It's been 2 months now and the company has not bothered to send me any Cobra information. I feel this is a deliberate ploy to aggravate me.I am in the same house, same phone number. NO ONE HAS SENT ME ANY COBRA COVERAGE INFORMATION. My wife is a diabetic and I feel the company should have to cover my insurance for at least 2 months since they deliberately didn't sent any information.The cost of medicines has just about bankrupted me. I have waited paitiently for this information to be sent; in no way has the company tried to send any. Isn't there a set time to get Cobra information to an ex-employee so he can find coverage? I was under the impression that sending out the Cobra information was the federaL LAW? I THINK THE STATE SHOULD CHASTISE THIS COMPANY AND THEIR HR DEPARTMENT. I HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO GET ANY ASSISTANCE ON THE PHONE SO I DECIDED TO CONTACT YOU VIA EMAIL .THANKS FOR ANY HELP YOU MAY PROVIDE.


Insurance Expert Answer:

There are several issues that may be involved.

NOT ALL employers are covered by COBRA. Federal COBRA only applies if the employer meets certain size tests in terms of number of employees. Certain employers whose size normally would require them to comply with COBRA are also excluded from the obligation to offer COBRA benefits. If your former employer is not covered it has no duty to offer you the option to extend coverage.

There are also some COBRA-like laws in some states that apply to some employers with fewer employees than Federal COBRA requires. I have no idea if your state has such a law or what its provisions are. Your state Department of Labor typically has that information.

If the employer discontinues the health plan entirely, as some do to save money, or goes out of business and ceases to exist, there would be no COBRA either.

Similarly, if your employment was terminated for certain misconduct, COBRA may not apply.

Finally, the recent Federal Stimulus Law created a whole series of changes for COBRA and employers, and even has provisions for the government to pick up a large share of the premium most former employees would have to pick up. But the details are sketchy and many employers have been confused.

Our suggestion is that instead of railing against Blue Cross Blue Shield you should contact your former employer and ask it "what's up"?