Previous employer hasn't furnished COBRA info - what can I do?

Question

Hello,

I changed jobs in June of this year. My previous employer told me my medical coverage would continue until 7/1/00. They stated that the COBRA benefits were handled by a third party and I would receive paperwork etc. directly from the 3rd party. To date I have not received anything. I have contacted HR at my old employer on 3 occasions regarding this. Each time I'm told "we'll look into this and get back to you". Now, 2 months later I'm starting to get nervous. My new employer has a 90 waiting period and I'm worried that I'm going to lose my protection under HIPAA. Is there some other avenue I can turn other than HR at my former employer? Thanks

Answer

COBRA requires the employer to notify the COBRA administrator within 30 days after an individual has a COBRA qualifying event, i.e., the employer has 30 days after you lose coverage to notify the administrator of your loss of coverage. The administrator then has 14 days from when notice is received to provide the COBRA election notice to you. This is federal law that all employers subject to COBRA must follow or be subject to penalties. I would contact your employer and request the name and address of the the administrator. You can contact the administrator directly and if this fails, contact the Department of Labor.

Lynn L. Franzoi