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Question regarding Cobra premiums and need advice
Old 05-12-2013, 11:00 AM   #1
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Question regarding Cobra premiums and need advice

Hi everyone,

I just discovered this website and have found the forum very insightful and decided to post in the hope that someone can offer any insight.

I live in Massaschusetts and was laid off in early February. The company covered my health care until the end of the month and then Cobra would start beginning of March.

Since I am collecting unemplyment, I applied at the end of February through the state medical security program to see about getting assistance with the Cobra premiums. (There are 2 options, either direct coverage or the state can reimburse up to 80% of the Cobra premium. I chose direct coverage and if I was not approved for that, then I would be for the 80%, so I figured to apply for direct.) I was informed that the process usually takes about 10 weeks. In the meantime I paid my Cobra premium for the months of March and April to be on the safe side. The payments are made direct to the company, not to a specific carrier.

I just received a letter from the state informing me that I was approved for the direct coverage plan retroactive to the beginning of March and that a small amount would be deducted weekly from my unemployment check, so it looks like I never should have made the Cobra premium payments to begin with, but since the process took so long, I didn't know how the state would decide.

My question is can I get reimbursed for the Cobra payments I made direct to the company? Do they have a legal right to keep my money? My unemployment check isn't that big and just this week, it was reduced by 13% due to federal government cutting back.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:05 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gride50 View Post
Hi everyone,

I just discovered this website and have found the forum very insightful and decided to post in the hope that someone can offer any insight.

I live in Massaschusetts and was laid off in early February. The company covered my health care until the end of the month and then Cobra would start beginning of March.

Since I am collecting unemplyment, I applied at the end of February through the state medical security program to see about getting assistance with the Cobra premiums. (There are 2 options, either direct coverage or the state can reimburse up to 80% of the Cobra premium. I chose direct coverage and if I was not approved for that, then I would be for the 80%, so I figured to apply for direct.) I was informed that the process usually takes about 10 weeks. In the meantime I paid my Cobra premium for the months of March and April to be on the safe side. The payments are made direct to the company, not to a specific carrier.

I just received a letter from the state informing me that I was approved for the direct coverage plan retroactive to the beginning of March and that a small amount would be deducted weekly from my unemployment check, so it looks like I never should have made the Cobra premium payments to begin with, but since the process took so long, I didn't know how the state would decide.

My question is can I get reimbursed for the Cobra payments I made direct to the company? Do they have a legal right to keep my money? My unemployment check isn't that big and just this week, it was reduced by 13% due to federal government cutting back.

Thanks in advance.
you probably should query the medical security program directly. Even if we say yes-your going to have to deal with the program and company anyways.


i assume you already know this-but just in case


http://www.massresources.org/medical...y-program.html
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:12 AM   #3
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FWIW, I have no personal experience with something like this but am just speculating. I would think that either the Cobra plan would owe you a refund equal to the 80% that they receive from the state for March and April or that the state would reimburse you (pay you rather than the plan).

Probably the former. I would contact the Cobra administrator, explain the situation, ask if they have received payments from the state for March and April and if so, request either a refund for those amounts. Alternatively, you could call the state and explain that your already paid for March and April so that you knew you had coverage pending their decision and see what they advise you to do.

I have no doubt that you will face some bureaucratic hurdles but I would think that you would eventually get your 80% for March and April back from either the company or the state.
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:14 PM   #4
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+1@pb4uski

Contact the benefits administrator, ask for the money to be refunded, keep careful records of all your communications, and don't count on the money until the check has cleared. Good luck.
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
+1@pb4uski

Contact the benefits administrator, ask for the money to be refunded, keep careful records of all your communications, and don't count on the money until the check has cleared. Good luck.
+2
Expect about ten weeks to get anything back. That seems to be the system.
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