K.T. asks from O Fallon, MO on September 28, 2008
Losing My Insurance???
I have been with the same company for a little over 2 years, and it's getting ready to close. I am 6 1\2 months pregnant,and I was told by a friend that with some of the new laws they have now that I get to keep my insurance without having to pay cobra for the simple fact that I am not being fired but "laid off" and pregnant. Has anyone ever heard of this?
Thank you for all the responses. I guess I was a little vague on the details though. My company was suppose to close several months ago and I went into panic mode and signed up instantly on my husbands insurance, so for the past few months we have be paying double for myself. So I'm really not worried if I still keep mine, because I have his. Long story short there are 3 other girls with my company who are pregnant and have no other option for insurance and that's why I was just curious if anyone else had heard of this. The friend who told me about the laws was actually in HR for almost 30 years. The HR girl at my work is just filling in until we close and really has no idea what is going on (she has no experience in HR).
N.F. answers from St. Louis on September 29, 2008
I wanted to check with our insurance broker before I responded to this for you.
First if the company is going out of business - COBRA will not even be an option, COBRA is only an option when a Health Insurance plan is available, when closing they generally do not keep a plan open. If it is a small company Missouri continuation will not apply either.
Second, if your spouse is employed and has Health Benefits available you will be able to join as of the last day of your coverage. Generally you have to wait until "open enrollment" but with a life changing event such as losing your coverage you may join at any time. You will have to provide them with "proof" of loss of coverage - usually a letter from employer stating when your benefits would end. Also in this case your PG would not be considered a pre-existing condition and would be covered - unless his insurance excludes PG.
You would also have the option of picking up a "personal" plan which are never cheap!
Good Luck and best wishes with the baby.
1 mom found this helpful
S.W. answers from St. Louis on September 29, 2008
Check with the compnay that you now work for. I was laid off due to a company closing and received 4 months of health inssurance and severance pay. So I would check and see if they have set up some kind of package for employees.
1 mom found this helpful
C.W. answers from Kansas City on September 29, 2008
I think what you are hearing about is COBRA laws... This is a law that states if you or your family are on a employers health insurance plan, that you can continue the coverage by paying the premiums yourself when you leave(no matter the reason for leaving) the place of employment that has those benefits. Which can be quite costly. Also there is a limit on how long you can use COBRA benefits. Below is a link to the government page that talks about this.
As the others have said - Talk with the HR department and more specifically the Benefits Coordinator - They should know this and your options and help you out, as this is their job....
Also - If COBRA is just out of your pocket book - Then you probably should contact your Doctor and the Hospital you are going to be delivering at and start making financial arrangements that are best for you... Also I know that my husband & I could not afford COBRA benefits when I left my company a couple of years ago and found it cheaper to get benefits on our own thru Blue Cross Blue Shield.
B.B. answers from Kansas City on September 29, 2008
I was laid off once and had to pay COBRA if I wanted to keep my insurance. If the other girls live in Kansas the can apply for KS health wave while they are pregnant. It will still cover them up until six weeks after they deliver. Once the babies are born they can apply to have the babies covered, they may have to pay $20 a month for the babies to be covered.
A.H. answers from Kansas City on September 28, 2008
I have never heard of that kind of law. As far as I know, you have to pay Cobra no matter why you leave your job. That is exactly what cobra is for.
T.S. answers from Kansas City on September 29, 2008
I can tell you from the same thing that happened to me. I was laid off from my job when I was 6 months pregnant and my employer did not have to keep insurance on me. You will have to pay Cobra and it is very expensive. Depending on the number of people in your home nad your income you may qualify for Medicaid. They will cover you at least for your pregnancy, and at 100%.
M.A. answers from St. Louis on September 29, 2008
You should check with the insurance company. Did you get a booklet when you got the insurance? You should find out things like that in the book. Look the insurance company up online if you didn't get a booklet.
C.H. answers from Kansas City on September 28, 2008
I would first ask the HR person or office manager about it. I wonder about Cobra because they won't be paying for insurance any more if the company is closing (I wouldn't think). So, I wonder if Cobra is even an option to you at this point.
If you are married and your husband's job has insurance available you might check into that ASAP. Since you have a change in job status, I think he should be able to get you on his insurance without waiting for any enrollment dates.
If nothing else, call the MO Department of Labor (or KS if you work there). Hopefully they can at least point you in the right direction. Good luck!!