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Can an employer continue to pay health benefits

Pelham, NY |

When an employee has quit; can the employer continue to pay his health benefits ? when this person no longer works for the company

Attorney Answers 4


Can they? Sure they can but why would they unless it was part of some severance or exit package, etc.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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Yes they can pay health benefits. May be covered as a non employee however the employer would have to review their health insurance contract group rate for cost. Why would they?

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If they want to be benevolent, sure. There is no prohibition against it. Also, the employee may qualify for COBRA assistance as well. A good source of information is

Good luck.

Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Habberfield is licensed to practice law in the States of New York and Pennsylvania. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time-lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Habberfield strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to insure proper advice is received.

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Cobra Insurance

What is Cobra insurance and how does it affect my health insurance coverage?

Explanation of COBRA Insurance rights.

Cobra is the federal law enacted to provide health insurance for people and families who have lost their job(s). COBRA also is used during life changing events such as divorce, or death.

Under COBRA, if you voluntarily resign from a job or are terminated for any reason other than "gross misconduct" you are guaranteed the right to continue your former employer's group plan as individual or family health care coverage for up to 18 months at your own expense. In many cases, your spouse and dependent children are also eligible for COBRA coverage, sometimes for as long as three years. There are several exceptions to the COBRA law that you should be aware of. You may not be eligible for COBRA if you bought the insurance yourself, are a federal employee, work for a church related organization or work for a firm employing fewer than 20 people.

Here are the situations that warrant coverage under COBRA. If you are terminated or have your hours cut back, you, your spouse, and any dependent children are guaranteed coverage for a maximum of 18 months. If you the is a divorce, legal separation, loss of dependent child status, death, or Medicare entitlement, your spouse and any dependent children are guaranteed coverage for a maximum of 36 months. Remember: You are not required to stay on COBRA for the maximum 18 or 36 months.

Even if you work at a small company that is exempt from federal law, you might not be completely out of luck. Many states have adopted their own laws that often grant broader rights in determining eligibility for coverage. Check with your state insurance department to find out if you are entitled to continued health care coverage under a state COBRA plan.

COBRA is only available to individuals who are actually covered by a health insurance plan. It doesn't really matter how large the company is, you must currently be covered in order to qualify for coverage.

Here are the following reasons COBRA coverage could end even if you are eligible: You reach the last day of maximum coverage, Premiums are not paid on a timely basis, The employer ceases to maintain any group health plan, You obtain coverage through another employer group health plan that does not contain any exclusion or limitation with respect to any pre-existing condition of a beneficiary, A beneficiary is entitled to Medicare benefits.

When considering COBRA, cost will undoubtedly become a very important issue. Typically monthly premiums will range in to $400-$600 for a family. The bottom line: When you're on COBRA, your employer does not pick up a big chunk of the monthly premiums. You'll be responsible for paying the full amount, plus an administrative fee of up to 2 percent. You'll have to weigh your ability, and desire, to pay the extra expenses against your and your family's need for health coverage and the financial dangers of going without it.

Additionally, people who have "pre-existing conditions" (meaning medical problems that exist before you buy a policy) find it much more difficult to buy individual health coverage. In most cases insurance companies with exclude many pre-existing conditions for being covered. Pre-existing condition exclusions can be temporary, in the case of pregnancy, to permanent in the case of a more serious health problem. Some states ban that practice and federal law forbids all group health plans from medically underwriting you).

You may also be protected under HIPAA. HIPAA is federal law that guarantees people who have continuous health coverage (and meet certain other qualifications) can't be denied insurance even if they have pre-existing conditions. The only way you lose protection under HIPAA is if you forgo COBRA and thus create a gap in your coverage.

Your coverage offered under COBRA must be identical to the coverage you had before. However, employers can

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