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COBRA claim for employee who didn’t sign up for health insurance?

by on
in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

Q. We offer insurance benefits that begin three months after hire. Due to changing business conditions, we had to terminate an employee after only six months on the job. It seems that the worker wasn’t signed up for the health plan on his termination date. Does he now have any claim to COBRA?

A. Generally, no. Continuation coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) applies only to individuals actually covered under a group health plan.

Because he did not enroll in the health plan and was not covered on the termination date, the employee would not have a claim under COBRA—provided that he wasn’t wrongfully denied coverage in the first place. 

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