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In quite a bind, need help quickly. Was just told my COBRA coverage (medical, dental) was canceled; I missed premium grace date

Silver Spring, MD |

Laid off in January, w/regular coverage thru 1/31. Paid 1 COBRA prem for Feb, 1 for Mar. Prem for Apr (due 4/1) still unpaid. Vendor sent reminder in late Apr. Grace period for Feb's payment was 45 days, so w/poor cash flow, I opted to wait for 401K payout. BUT: turns out, after 1st month, grace is just 30 days! Per new Vendor letter I'm canceled; NOTE, their website agrees but their IVR does NOT. Any recourse here? Rush payment (Apr, May) & hope for best? Do I (age 55, unemployed) have other options? indiv policy? PPACA? Medicaid? (may be moot if wife can cover us @ her job). W/separate medical & dental insurers (domiciles unknown), COBRA prem-collection vendor in FL, myself (MD resident) & an ex-employer w/HQ in VA but HR dept in CT, is jurisdiction an issue? Or is it federal rules?

Still hope someone addresses this soon. Seems to be more space here, so please advise if posting needs clarification Deciding by COB today (Tue) whether to send checks for Apr, May & hope vendor cashes them. Rushed, since: Thu May 16 is 45 days after Apr 1 due date; want to stay consistent w/notion of a 45-day grace period, even if mistaken. Vendor might refer me to employer HR (who can be hard to reach, so I can't wait long) to ask for an extension, but beyond 45 days seems unlikely Unless advised otherwise, I plan to call vendor (anonymously if I can) abt 1:30EDT, in less than 2 hrs. Hope this won't "tip them off" & scuttle any hope of them cashing checks In mail yesterday was a Certif of Group Health Plan Coverage. Not sure it'll help me get an indiv policy: HIPAA Portability text has a condition that coverage not be "terminated b/c of ... nonpayment of premiums". Doesn't list that condition for getting on my wife's coverage Any input would be most welcome!

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Attorney answers 1


It would appear that you are out of luck as far as your continued coverage is concerned. Don't play around with COBRA deadlines. Of course you have other options to obtain insurance. Call an insurance broker, or if you are not employed, consider government programs. Best of luck to you.