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Dad w/cancer's Group Term Life Policy

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What is the name of your state? New York My father was recently diagnosed with terminal Pancreatic Cancer. At the same time, his company is being bought out. Under the previous ownership, he was covered under a group term life policy. He intends to retire soon (currently on sick leave). Once he retires, is he (therefore my mother) cut off from the term life policy, or is it possible to fund the premiums to ensure there is no lapse in coverage causing a loss of the benefit?
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I'm a Northern Girl
I don't know NY law on this, but in some states when an individual leaves employment and is therefore no longer eligible for the group term life policy, the individual must be given the opportunity to convert it to an individual policy. If NY has that law (or if the insurance carrier has chosen to provide that option - some carriers offer it regardless of legal requirements) then you will be able to do so; if no such law exists in NY and the carrier has not chosen to provide that option, you can't.

Your father's employer should be able to tell you whether such a requirement or option exists. Contact whomever is responsible for benefits in the HR department.


Senior Member
By all means you want to assure continuation of coverage and unless the policy will be carried forward by the new firm to make sure you convert the group term policy to an individual policy. As it is an employer based benefit ERISA applies and ERISA trumps any state law. Nearly every group policy has a conversion privilege IF YOU ACT IN TIME!!!!!!

Read the policy. CAREFULLY. Given the high mortality rate and short life expectancy of this horrible disease (my sincere sympathy), and the benefit plan complications (or worse) than can occur during a merger and similar transaction, it MAY make sense to hire a lawyer (one should charge by the hour and NOT as a percentage of the face amount) to make sure that you preserve this valuable benefit

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