What to do if my ex-employer allowed me to use my health insurance after termination but is now canceling my benefits retroactively?

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What to do if my ex-employer allowed me to use my health insurance after termination but is now canceling my benefits retroactively?

I was fired while on medical LOA 12/20/10 and my termination letter stated that my health insurance would continue until 12/31/10. In early January I called my former employer’s benefits department to ask about COBRA but was told that my status was still “active/on LOA” in their system, thus making me eligible to continue my benefits if I made the premium payments on time. Since I knew I was covered I continued with treatment of my medical condition in January and February. On 3/3/11 I received notice from the same department stating that due to an “oversight” my insurance was canceled retroactively to 1/1/11. Do I have any recourse?

Asked on March 19, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for the above answer. Ths incorrect information was inputted in to the box.  What you have here is a mistake by the HR department as to your benefits at the time that you called. The information that they gave you was obviously not updated to the written letter indicating your status.  There was a breach of an obligation here on some level and I do think that you should seek help from an attorney in your area familiar with COBRA benefits and the obligation of your former meployer.  What I am concerned about is that you will not be able to obtain coverage at this late date becuase of some deadline missed by the HR department in getting you the information to enroll.  Good luck to you.

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There really is not enough information here to to give you any guidance but you need to remember that in general the rights of the few may be in fact limited or curtailed in order to protect the rights of the many.  Many people do not understand that and think that they have unlimited rights here in America - which we do really but not if our right to act puts others in danger.  Also, you may have no legal standing as to a "right" to see him.  You are not related by blood or law.  Also, if he is a convicted prisoner his rights are limited as well.  I would seek consultation from an attorney familiar with the law in South Carolina.  Maybe he or she can ask you the necessary questions to determine how to proceed. 


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