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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    2

    Default What Happens if Your Ex-Employer Does Not Inform You of Your COBRA Rights

    I went on a medical leave July 2017. I immediately notified my employer and leave administrator Sedgwick. While on leave i moved November 29th and i notified Sedgwick whom advised me that this update would be communicated with my employer. And this seems true as my IRS tax documents, HSA account info and EOB's from my employer were all coming to my new address....along with any correspondence from Sedgwick. Fast forward to March 2018, i received an email notice from UPS that a letter from my employer was signed for, but the letter appeared to be sent to my old address. I contacted HR to advise that the letter was sent to an old address and this is when i was informed of my termination. A copy of termination letter was then emailed to me showing it was sent to the wrong address. I updated the address with the rep but i still have not received COBRA benefits.

    Is this considered a COBRA violation if they have failed to send me notice of my COBRA rights?
    Also is it wrongful termination if the letter was sent to an address the employer and leave administrator know i don't reside at? Had i received the letter, i could have discussed my issue with my doctor to probably allow me to return to work on a part time basis.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,212

    Default Re: COBRA Violation

    It is not a wrongful termination, no. Not even close. The legality of your termination has nothing whatsoever to do with your notification of that termination. In fact, in most states there is no requirement that you be notified of your termination at all. Odd, I agree, but true.

    It *might* be a COBRA violation depending on when and if your COBRA administrator, who is not necessarily your leave administrator, was notified of your change of address.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: COBRA Violation

    By the way I'm in California and thats very odd. But thank you for your insight on the wrongful termination part.

    My previous employer is a major health insurance company, so my previous employer and COBRA administrator are 1 in the same. (hope that makes sense). Which is why i don't understand why my term letter and COBRA benefits were not mailed to the new address if they sent other correspondence. I basically have at least 6 variations of mail from my old employer to my new address, just not the term letter and COBRA benefits.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,212

    Default Re: COBRA Violation

    FYI a wrongful termination, even in California, means that there is a specific law that prohibits your employer from terming you for the reason he did. How, when, and even whether you are notified of the termination is irrelevant; if the reason he termed you is a legal one, then it's legal no matter what he does about notification.

    If you believe your COBRA rights have been violated, file a complaint with the US DOL.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,151

    Default Re: COBRA Violation

    what was your actual termination date? Not when they notified you but the actual date?

    A typical COBRA election timeline for the loss of group health coverage due to termination of employment is as follows:

    Here's the timeline that must occur:
    "Employment terminates and subsequently group plan coverage ceases.
    Employer has 30 days from the loss of coverage to notify the plan administrator.*
    Plan Administrator has 14 days to provide a COBRA election notice to the former employee/qualified beneficiary.
    Qualified beneficiary has 60 days from the date of the notification to make an election to continue enrollment in the plan(s).
    Qualified beneficiary has 45 days to pay the first premium."

    If all of this happened in March 2018, you still are within the window to elect to continue. I am not seeing how you were irreparably harmed. Has it been 45 days from when you terminated?

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