When you lose your job, the last thing you need to worry about is losing valuable health insurance coverage. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is a federal law passed in 1986 that helps to provide continuous health insurance coverage for individuals and their families when they change jobs. As long as you pay your premiums on time, you're eligible to receive 18 months of health insurance coverage through COBRA. If your policy has been canceled, you can appeal the cancellation and get your coverage back.
Contact your plan administrator by phone and ask him to reinstate your coverage. If your coverage was terminated in error, a simple phone call may clear up the situation.
Ask your plan administrator for an address to send appeals to. Contact your plan by mail and request that the administrators reinstate coverage. Provide proof of why you think you are eligible for reinstatement. For example, if your coverage was canceled due to nonpayment, include proof of payment such as a copy of a canceled check.
Contact the Employee Benefits Security Administration if you think your coverage was terminated in error and if the plan administrator won't fix the problem. The EBSA can be reached at 1-866-444-3272.
In general, you have 180 days to appeal termination of COBRA coverage.
If you forgot to pay your premium, you should be given a grace period of 30 days to pay. However, if you fail to make the premium payment within that grace period, you won't be able to get your coverage reinstated.
Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.