If a husband dies and the wife is on his health insurance policy through his job, can hisemployer cancel her insurance without first notifying her?

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If a husband dies and the wife is on his health insurance policy through his job, can hisemployer cancel her insurance without first notifying her?

The job cancelled the insurance two weeks after his death, at the end of the month, without notifying the wife. Cobra is available, but wife has no insurance until she pays it.

Asked on April 4, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for your troubles.  Generally speaking there has to be either a qualifying event or open enrollment in an insurance plan in order to change the status of health insurance  A qualifying event is often birth of a child or death of a party that is insured.  But the employer should have contacted you in order to give you the information as to COBRA before they cancelled the insurance.  I would contact your state department of insurance to see what can be done.  You do not want to be deemed uninsured for too long as that can cause you all sorts of problems. Ask what can be done.  Good luck to you.


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