I retired on March 24 of this year and have made 5 phone calls to my company insurance department. Still no application for cobra coverage though they continue to promise it is on its way through the US mail. I am concerned that too much time will pass and thus make me ineligible for this coverage. With a wife with serious health problems I must get this coverage in force asap. I have looked everywhere I can think of for the exact time limits on application after retirement with no specifics found. If I have called but not received an application, what are the rules?I am 7 days short of 2 months after retirement and I thought I had read that I only had 63 days to apply for this coverage. Any quick advice would be appreciated.GLSHEFF
I can't help you re timing, but can tell you how we solved the same problem. Husband retired last Spring and we also got the runaround from employer's insurance department. I finally had it, and started making phone calls to his boss, next boss, and finally top boss. Of course, I never actually spoke to any of them, but did finally reach an admin. asst. who finally got us the paperwork. As I recall, at some point along the way, I lost it and started threatening lawsuits, etc. -- I don't recommend this approach! But, forget the insurance dept. clerks -- start working up the chain.Best of luck.
I would start sending certified letters, return receipt requested, so I could document my claim that these people were draging their feet. I would also call the insurance company you expect to enroll with to check their rules.
The magic number is 63 days. You do not state if your company is self funded or contracts with an insurance company for benefits. The COBRA process is simply a matter of staying on the plan that you have and then making payments to your employer for 100% of the cost of the insurance plus a possible 2% for administrative fees. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act(COBRA) of 1985 federally mandates the extension of benefits to employees and workers. It is administered by the Dept. of Labor, Benefit Plans Office (206)533-4244. The DOL web site is www.dol.gov but don't know how much help that will be.Your State Insurance Commissioner's staff will gladly assist you in receiving this benefit. Even if yours is a self funded health plan (and thus doesn't come under their jurisdiction) someone in the office will probably be willing to make a phone call to your employer. Remember, there isn't an employer in this country who wants to be on the 'outs' with their State Insurance Commissioner...muchless the Dept. of Labor. I would start with the state first,then make a call to the Federal office if necessary. Make it quick too. Your town may have a local DOL office listed in the Yellow Pages under U.S. Government. I assume you have proper proof that you sent a letter to your employer requesting COBRA? Certified etc.? Let us know what happens...
http://www.insure.com/health/cobra.htmlCheck out the above web site for some helpful info on COBRA. Generally, you and your dependents have 18 months of continued health coverage if you make the election within 60 days of the qualified event and you pay the monthly premiums. Your COBRA coverage will be retroactive to your termination/retirement date as long as you pay the premium. Your former employer has 14 days from the qualifying event, in your case your effective retirement date, to alert you and your family members — in person or by first-class mail — about your right to elect COBRA. The IRS gets tough here: If the plan administrator fails to act, he or she can be held personally liable for breaching their duties. You are getting the run around by your former employer and it's against the law. Contact your local Department of Labor immediately. Good Luck!
I retired on March 24 of this year and have made 5 phone calls to my company insurance department. Still no application for cobra coverage though they continue to promise it is on its way through the US mail. I am concerned that too much time will pass and thus make me ineligible for this coverage. With a wife with serious health problems I must get this coverage in force asap. I have looked everywhere I can think of for the exact time limits on application after retirement with no specifics found. If I have called but not received an application, what are the rules? I am 7 days short of 2 months after retirement and I thought I had read that I only had 63 days to apply for this coverage. Any quick advice would be appreciated.Go to you HR department and give them a check for the amount due for the past two months and next month. Ask for a receipt. You pay what the company/and or you paid while employed plus 2%. Get a receipt for the check. Mail your monthly payment to the company even if you do not get a bill.Call and write to the insurance company and tell them you are accepting COBRA coverage and have paid the employer for coverage. If you can not get the amount due the insurance company should be able to tell you or give you an estimate.Make the payment now. You do not have time to work out the red tape and then pay.
Thank you to all who responded to my post on my Cobra coverage problem.As a couple posters advised, I called the 800 number today for my insurance company. (BC/BS)I explained my problem and my concern and they told me that a permanent record would be kept of my call but that I was not in danger of losing my eligiblity for cobra coverage. My company self insures and BC/BS is only the administrator of the coverage. The rep I spoke to called my company's insurance department while I waited on the phone then advised me that the company reps would have to straighten out my problem but still insisted I had nothing to worry about.Less than five minutes after I hung up, I received a call from the head of health benefits who told me that my 60 day period did not even start until the company presented to me an election form to determine if I desired cobra coverage. For those who wonder why I did not just go to my HR department in person, My company is in retail and the headquarters is over 200 miles away.Anyway, this lady was very nice and assured me that I would not lose my eligibility and said they had mailed an election notice yesterday and that I should receive it tomorrow. We agreed that I would send that back immediately along with a check for the first two months coverage, ( $320 per month) :o(If I do not receive this letter tomorrow, I intend to send a letter explaining my intentions and the two month check and send it certified mail, return receipt requested.I will keep those interested posted on my progress.Thanks again,GLSHEFF
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