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Health Insurance Prematurely Terminated Oklahoma

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  • Health Insurance Prematurely Terminated Oklahoma

    It has always been my understanding that when an employ leaves a job, their health insurance is to continue for 30 days. However, I recently resigned from a job and my insurance was terminated 17 days later.

    I contacted the health insurer and was informed that they were acting on the employer's instructions to terminate my insurance, when they did. They referred me to my employer's human resources department. Upon attempting to contact the human resources department, my calls were not answered and my messages were not returned.

    I contacted my state insurance department and was told that while the early termination of health insurance is a violation of the law, they would not enforce it because it was the employer, not the insurance company who terminated my insurance and is therefore, an employer compliance issue to be handled by the either the Federal Department of Labor or the State Labor Department.

    I contacted both the U.S. Department of Labor and the Oklahoma Department of Labor, only to be told that neither would enforce that law.

    My question is, "Who can I turn to for enforcement?"

    Thank you for reading my post and any information or insights you may be able to provide.

  • #2
    Generally your health ins. coverage terminates as per the group health ins. plan ("policy" provisions). Many times it is the last day of the month in which you left. You will have to see what the plan "document" says. You need to ask for a copy from your employer.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    • #3
      There is only one state in which the law mandates that insurance must continue after the termination of employment, be that termination voluntary or involuntary; that state is not Oklahoma; even in that one state it is not a guaranteed 30 days but until the last day of the month in which employment (or eligibility, if applicable) ends. So your initial premise is incorrect.

      In 49 out of 50 states it is quite common, and quite legal, for coverage to end on the last day of the month following employment, or even on the last day of employment. As indicated above, you need to find out when your policy says coverage ends. But you are not guaranteed a full 30 days of coverage by law.
      Last edited by cbg; 08-06-2014, 04:23 AM.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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      • #4
        However, if your employer has more than 20 employees, you should be eligible for COBRA coverage for 18 months. It is not employer-paid though.

        It is possible that the employer had a prior policy to cover for 30 days, but they have the right to change that unless it is written into the plan document. So I agree with the above poster that you need to ask (in writing ) for a copy of the plan document. They must provide it but they might be able to charge you for the copying costs. They also might have something called a Summary Plan Document (or SPD) that puts the PD in more layman's terms. So definitely ask for that too.

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        • #5
          Hi Betty3,

          Thank you so much for your clear, concise and thoughtful reply.

          I guess I just assumed that because, in my experience, coverage often continued for 30 days, that this was by legal mandate or, at least standard-operating-procedure. However, I do recall a fewer number of instances, in which, health insurance was terminated at the end of the month of termination of employment. Obviously, going forward, I need to verify my assumptions. I will request the plan document, as suggested.

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          • #6
            Hi cbg,

            Thank you for your cogent reply, as well as your diligence and perspective.

            Many of us, so often, hear what we want to hear without taking the time to truly understand. Unfortunately, and despite my characteristic awareness of that particular pitfall, I am sometimes guilty of doing it, as well. I appreciate your contribution to my understanding.

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            • #7
              Hi hr for me,

              Thank you for your informative, thorough and hopeful reply.

              The employer did send me a form letter document regarding COBRA. Of course, COBRA coverage is prohibitively expensive for most people, (the monthly premium would be about 40% of my net pay), and therefore, not a viable option.

              I was not aware that the employer has the option to modify the original plan with regard to an individual employee, rather, I thought changes had to be made by class. Thank you for the Summary Plan Document suggestion. It will likely save me time, money and some frustration.

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              • #8
                Thank you all, so much, for your time and wisdom!

                I don't normally do this kind of thing but just wanted to stop and say what a positive experience I've had in visiting, interacting and learning on this forum. The replies, without exception, have been clear, concise, accurate, informative, respectful and useful.

                Thanks to you folks, I'm now able to move forward and pursue a course of action without nagging doubts. This is very unusual in my experience and I just want you to know how much your input has meant to me.

                This board rocks!

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                • #9
                  We certainly appreciate the compliments.
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                  Comment

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