As a lawyer with twelve years in the business, I am pleased to report that my clients still call me years down the road with unrelated legal questions. A current client called today and he is changing jobs but his new health insurance won’t start for 60 days. His wife is on the plan and is undergoing medical care for a serious neck injury from a car accident. The client had just planned on holding off on getting medical care for 60 days. I advised the client that he needs to pay for COBRA continuing coverage with his old plan to make sure there is continuous health insurance coverage. Otherwise, the new plan will exclude medical care for her neck injury for 12-18 months as it is a pre-existing condition and there is no continuing health insurance. By having the COBRA coverage in place, there is continuing coverage and it won’t be a problem.
COBRA is just an acronym for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, a Federal law that requires that any employer with more than 20 employees extend health-care coverage to any eligible employee after they leave. Public Law 99-272 Title X and its subsequent amendments require employers to offer continuing coverage to employees and their dependents. It is available to insured employees when they:
2. Are fired for reasons other than gross misconduct.
3. Are laid off for economic reasons
Health insurance and liability insurance issues are complex and you should be choosy in hiring a attorney.