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COBRA

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#1
I was terminated June 8, 2018 2018. My insurance was good until June 30th, at which time I was told that I would receive info about COBRA coverage. The first week of July 2018, I had a meeting with my former HR director, as I had filed an EEO complaint a few days prior to my termination. I told him and the EEO officer at that time in the meeting that I still had not received my paperwork. He stated that I was the second person who stated that, and that he would look into it. I am a diabetic and had previously had two of my left toes amputated prior to my departure. In mid August 2018 I had to have another emergency surgery which subsequently led to my 3rd toe amputation. I again contacted my former employer and was told that COBRA is handled by a 3rd party and to be patient, and they would send out the paperwork. To date I have received no paperwork despite several attempts. I work for a government entity which has over 6,000 employees. I even sent a complaint to HHS as an additional followup, but to no avail. I feel this is part and parcel to the larger issue of my complaint for retaliation, but because I was unable to receive an answer to my questions concerning COBRA, I was unable to sign up for it to obtain my medication. The insulin is vital to my health, and not having insurance to take it contributed greatly to the cause of my second surgery.

I understand that it is up to me to followup on COBRA paperwork, benefits, etc. However, what happens when the employer seems to be retaliating against you even after you are no longer employed with them to the detriment of your health?
 


Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
#2
I'm not sure I understand. You do realize that you have to pay the full cost for your insurance under COBRA, right? Were you prepared to do that? If yes, then why couldn't you use that money towards your insulin? If not, then nothing would have been different.
 

cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
#3
The cost of the insulin would probably have been less than the cost of the COBRA, that's true. COBRA is very damned expensive.

The answer to the question you have asked is, You notify the EEO examiner handling your discrimination case.

You haven't asked what you should do about the COBRA violation. I believe that it's actually CMS which has jurisdiction over "public sector" COBRA. Have you been in touch with them at all?
 
#4
No, I did not contact CMS. The information I researched led me to Health and Human Services, so I sent them a letter of complaint. I will try CMS if I do not hear anything from HHS. Also, it wasn't just the insulin, I had a number of other medications as well as medical issues. The insulin was only an example. I needed the paperwork because I had contacted the American Diabetes Association and they were going to assist with paying my COBRA since I had already had one amputation due to my diabetes.
 
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