If a job change or a termination causes you to lose your health insurance, you are likely entitled to notice of your Ohio COBRA insurance benefits from your employer. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (“COBRA”) requires that employers separately notify all employees, covered spouses, and dependents of their rights to continued health care coverage. The employer is required to provide notice of COBRA insurance rights within 30 to 45 days of a “qualifying event.” Even where you may not be able to afford the COBRA coverage, you are still entitled to notice and an employer may be held liable for failing to provide notice.
In addition to damages such as medical expenses incurred due to a lack of insurance coverage, employers who fail to provide COBRA notice may also be subject to daily civil penalties for each day the notice is late. The notice must provide enough details, such as cost and payment information, to allow you to purchase COBRA coverage if you so choose.
The “qualifying events” giving rise to your right to a notice include quitting, divorce, termination of employment, death of the covered employee, or loss of dependent status in the case of a minor. You may be disqualified from COBRA eligibility if it is determined that you were terminated for “gross misconduct” at work. This is a very high standard, however, and most employees who are terminated for bad performance, inefficiency or reduction in force are entitled to notification of their COBRA insurance rights.
In addition to the employee’s Ohio COBRA insurance rights, a spouse or dependent also is also entitled to notice following a “qualifying event.”
If you have not received written notice of your right to COBRA insurance benefits from your employer in Ohio, and you are unsure whether you are entitled to benefits, the Ohio COBRA rights attorneys at the Calig Law Firm can help. We work diligently on behalf of our clients to hold employers accountable for failing to comply with COBRA notice requirements.
To set up a free consultation with a Columbus COBRA rights attorney, please contact the Calig Law Firm.