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Group Employee Benefit Plans/Health Insurance after layoff

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Question
Ms. McAllister,

I was hoping you could help answer my question.

I was recently laid off due to slowing business from my job. While employed, I had a group health insurance policy (COBRA). I was employed for almost 3 years. Our supervisor provided the coverage and then determined how much to take out of each of our checks to cover the premiums.

While working there, I had about $200/month taken out of my check for insurance. Now, since I'm unemployed, she told me that, if I want to continue health insurance with my company, I will need to write a check, made out to my company, for over $500/month. She told me I should let her know in writing within a few weeks before the insurance expires.

My question is, since I'm unemployed and collecting benefits, what are my health insurance options? Medicaid? What should I do? Should I inform her in writing to cancel my policy, or let it expire and get better insurance somewhere else? Is it right for her to more than double the cost of my health insurance and make it payable to my employer? Is my employer obligated to cover me for a certain amount of time after I'm unemployed? What do you think is my best option?

Thank you for your help.

Chris

Answer
First  of all once you are no longer employed with the company they are no longer responsible for your insurance and any subsidy that the company paid for your insurance  while you were an emploee.  Also, Cobra is 1.5 times the regular rate.

You may be able to obtain insurance for less privately and I would encourage you to check out your options with an independent insurance broker.

Medicaid and Medicare are not available to you unless you are either totally disabled or over 65 years old.

You may be eligible for something under the Obama care program.

Shirley

Group Employee Benefit Plans

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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR

Expertise

I can answer questions about Benefits plans, Health and Retirement, Erisa, Hippa, Cafeteria 125, Cobra and 401K. I cannot answer questions about stock option plans or other retirement plans.

Experience

I have been 25 years with my current International company. I am the Health Plan benefit administrator and I am also the Retirement Plan Trustee. I am the Human Resource Director.

Organizations
SHRM APA

Publications
I.O.M.A. B.N.A.

Education/Credentials
PHR in Human Resources CPP in Payroll

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