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I have a contract from July to June. I am a teacher. At my meeting to discuss my position in September, I will probably be told that my hours are going to be reduced and I will no longer be eligible for company health care benefits – usually I would be able to go on COBRA. The problem is that my company is changing health care providers on July 1st when my new contract would be in effect.

Can I get COBRA?

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I believe that the fact that the company is changing health care providers should have no affect on your eligibility of COBRA - see these related questions:

Q12: Under COBRA, what benefits must be covered? Qualified beneficiaries must be offered coverage identical to that available to similarly situated beneficiaries who are not receiving COBRA coverage under the plan (generally, the same coverage that the qualified beneficiary had immediately before qualifying for continuation coverage). A change in the benefits under the plan for the active employees will also apply to qualified beneficiaries. Qualified beneficiaries must be allowed to make the same choices given to non-COBRA beneficiaries under the plan, such as during periods of open enrollment by the plan.

Here's more supporting evidence:

Q24: Am I eligible for COBRA if my company closed or went bankrupt and there is no health plan? If there is no longer a health plan, there is no COBRA coverage available. If, however, there is another plan offered by the company, you may be covered under that plan. Union members who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement that provides for a medical plan also may be entitled to continued coverage.

From the department of labor website.

The reduction of hours should also be considered a qualifying event.

Qualifying Events for Employees:

  • Voluntary or involuntary termination of employment for reasons other than gross misconduct
  • Reduction in the number of hours of employment

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