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My dad recently retired, and I was surprised to hear that he did not qualify for any retiree insurance rates other than "COBRA" rates. He worked at his company for 13 years, then left for approx. 13 months, then worked another 22 years.

Supposedly, he was told a) they require 25 years of service to qualify for retiree insurance, and b) his leave of absence was more than 12 months, so his first 13 years of service don't count. Officially he retired with 22 years of service.

This seems like a really raw deal to me, and I am wondering what the law requires employers to provide, if anything. How should I proceed from here?

(If it makes any difference, his company was in upstate New York.)
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As we in the south have always said "Why would anyone want to live in New York?"

That said, I think a company can have whatever rules they want. That may be one advantage to working in the petroleum industry where you get laid off every 10 to 15 years. The retirement plans are pretty good and the insurance can follow you. At least mine did when I was laid off from Phillips. The cost is higher than the employees insurance, but not a whole lot. Lots less than the COBRA rates.
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Greetings, Melman, and welcome. You wrote:

<<Supposedly, he was told a) they require 25 years of service to qualify for retiree insurance, and b) his leave of absence was more than 12 months, so his first 13 years of service don't count. Officially he retired with 22 years of service.>>

If the plan defines the break in service as any period 12 months or longer and if his break was 13 months, then your dad is out of luck. While seemingly harsh given the number of years he worked for that company, his employer is under no legal obligation to extend group insurance rates to him in retirement.

Regards..Pixy
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