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Cobra benefits rescinded Oregon

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  • Cobra benefits rescinded Oregon

    I voluntarily left my job last October and at that time enrolled in the COBRA insurance coverage. My cobra insurance indicated that I would be covered for the normal 18 months (there were clearly more than 20 people working there and had been for the duration of my employment for 6 months). Flash forward 4 months... I went in to pay for my insurance and was approached by one of the managers. She said that I had been given "incorrect" information four months earlier and that I would only be covered for a total of 6 months. When I expressed confusion she explained that there had been an audit performed by some sort of insurance adjuster and that it had been calculated that they had fewer than full-time employees 75% of the proceeding year. I spoke with someone at ERISA who told me that companies were required by law to provide 18 months of employee benefits if they had more than 20 employees for 50% of the year during which my benefits had been calculated.

    So my questions are as follows: Is the 20 employee for 50% or 20 for 75% correct?
    How do part-time employees or full-time but without benefits play in that equation?
    What happens when full-time employees are being hired from temp agencies? Do they still count toward the 20 employee minimum?
    If they are lying is my only recourse to retain a lawyer?
    Is it legal for them to "rescind" their earlier benefit promise?

    I have known that company to intentionally try to weasel out of paying unemployment just to avoid paying higher unemployment insurance premiums so it wouldn't surprise me if they are being squirrelly here as well.

    Thanks, in advance!

  • #2
    Group health plans for employers with 20 or more employees on more than 50 percent of its typical business days in the previous calendar year are subject to COBRA. Both full and part-time employees are counted to determine whether a plan is subject to COBRA. Each part-time employee counts as a fraction of an employee, with the fraction equal to the number of hours that the part-time employee worked divided by the hours an employee must work to be considered full time.

    The IRS & the DOL share jurisdiction for enforcement of COBRA's eligibility, coverage & prem. provisions.

    (The 6 mos. coverage they are offering you is the state version of COBRA.)
    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

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    • #3
      Thanks for your response. Two other questions: they started to use temp workers from a staffing service while I was working there, do those employees count at all for their first 3 months or only after they are officially hired on? Also, my employment began and ended in 2007. Does the year before in which the employee count is made then 2006 or 2007?

      Thanks again!