Is it illegal for a company to cancel your health insurance prior to being able to switch into COBRA?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it illegal for a company to cancel your health insurance prior to being able to switch into COBRA?

I am a NH resident but work in MA. I recently gave my notice and moved into a different company. It cancelled my health insurance prior to my being able to switch into COBRA. My wife has a heart condition and is now hospitalized with stroke-like symptoms. I did not receive my COBRA packet until a week after I left the previous company and it took a week to reactivate. Meanwhile,  my wife is in the hospital due to our insurance not covering the prescription that she needs to survive. My COBRA is active now but this could have been prevented by her having her medicine.

Asked on March 11, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  I may be misunderstanding the key point here. Generally speaking an employer terminates insurance coverage for an employee on the last date of employment.  Your employer has an obligation to advise you about COBRA benefits and if you qualify (and if they do as well) and to possibly help with the transition. But as far as I know they are not obligated to keep you on their insurance until the COBRA kicks in.  In fact, I think that it may be illegal to do so.  That would be a form of insurance fraud.  Call the Department of Labor and ask as to the rules on COBRA to clarify your situation.  I hope that your wife recovers quickly.  Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption