This father is diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, goes out on FMLA, returns and is fired on April 30th. He then has until June 30th to elect coverage. On May 1st he received a notification letter giving him 60 days to elect coverage (see below). That letter gives him 45 days after the “notification date” to make his first premium payment. The cost would be $518.26. The COBRA extension takes effect and a bone marrow transplant scheduled for August 16. The wife mistakenly wrote the check for $518.00 even. You can see this one coming can’t you? Read the story in RAW.
Life-saving transplant denied and health insurance canceled over 26-cent shortfall
The law is very specific about how COBRA must be handled.
Employers must notify plan administrators of a qualifying event — such as termination of employment — within 30 days, according to the Department of Labor. Plan participants and beneficiaries must be sent a notice saying they can continue benefits no later than 14 days after the plan administrator receives word that a qualifying event has occurred. The individual then has 60 days to decide whether or not to take COBRA, and another 45 days after that to pay the initial premium.
COBRA Notification Letter states:
"You have 60 days to elect coverage following the ‘Loss of Coverage Date’ or the ‘Notification Date,’ whichever is greater," and, "Your first premium payment will be due no later than 45 days after the date of your election to the Health Benefits Continuation Plan."