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Thread: Stopping COBRA

  1. #1
    Express_Myself is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Cool Stopping COBRA

    What is the name of your state? MA

    I was sending in my monthly payments for COBRA to my previous employer. Then I got another job with health insurance, so picked up that policy and stopped sending in my COBRA payments. I assumed that once I stopped sending in the payments, my COBRA coverage was finished.

    Now the HR guy from my former company sent a letter saying they haven't received payments for several months, and they are terminating COBRA coverage. But that I would have to pay for the past several months!

    That sounds crazy and illegal. (I've had run-ins with this HR guy before where he didn't know employment law). Isn't it true that once I stop sending in the payments, that's my indication of not wanting COBRA right?

    THanks.
  2. #2
    lkc15507 is offline Member
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    Jul 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Express_Myself
    What is the name of your state? MA

    I was sending in my monthly payments for COBRA to my previous employer. Then I got another job with health insurance, so picked up that policy and stopped sending in my COBRA payments. I assumed that once I stopped sending in the payments, my COBRA coverage was finished.

    Now the HR guy from my former company sent a letter saying they haven't received payments for several months, and they are terminating COBRA coverage. But that I would have to pay for the past several months!

    That sounds crazy and illegal. (I've had run-ins with this HR guy before where he didn't know employment law). Isn't it true that once I stop sending in the payments, that's my indication of not wanting COBRA right?

    THanks.

    Your COBRA coverage will be effective through the time period you have paid. Any medical claims incurred during that paid through period should be considered for coverage according to the terms of the plan you were covered under. They cannot force you to retroactively pay COBRA premiums. You are correct, if you do not pay the premium, you have no coverage. End of story. Any medical claims incurred after your paid through date will not be considered for coverage. If the previous employer plan paid claims past the date you paid your premium, too bad for them. They will need to request refunds to whom they paid. But, you would then be responsible to the provider. COBRA is your right and subsequent responsibility. When you stop paying, it stops paying. For basic rights under COBRA please visit [url]www.dol.gov[/url]. Best to you lkc15507
  3. #3
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    For the record, it would have been better had you sent them something specifically telling them to terminate the coverage instead of assuming that they would know that your failure to send payments was deliberate and not inadvertant or an oversight. They are not mindreaders and many employees do send in their payments late.
  4. #4
    QuantumAnenome is offline Junior Member
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    I believe COBRA terminates immediatly upon getting another policy. Period. Not optional on either the insured or the insurers side. When this happened to me, I continued payment, thinking I had dual coverage. 4 months later, they retroactively cancelled me, sent a check reimbursing us for our payments, and a bill for reimbursment to them went out to us and all the doctors. All doctors repaid the COBRA company, resubmitted the bills to the new insurance, and all was well. After calling the NV state insurance commisioner, we were told that it is legal for them to do this, and we should have notified them when we obtained new coverage.
  5. #5
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    QA, this is not the same situation.

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