Here's my question-say the bank calls the loan in 2 weeks (and the way things are going, that wouldn't surprise anyone), is there an option for COBRA. Not with Howrey contributing anything, but just so my family would have continuous coverage until I got on another plan with a new job or on my own. Or is it no Howrey=no plan=no Cobra. Does it just stop one day or do you get notice? How did it work with Heller or the others?
I am very concerned about losing COBRA coverage since I am presently receiving on-going treatment for cancer and another chronic health condition which prevents me from getting another job at this time. I worked at Howrey for just under 20 years and I find it hard to believe that Howrey would just let the COBRA health insurance umbrella disappear. There has to be a way to work COBRA coverage into the final financial arrangements. I don't believe that the money is not there to fund COBRA.
11:35--I don't know whether COBRA will exist for everyone, but if you haven't had a break in coverage in the past, I think you are HIPAA-eligible, which should mean you are guaranteed to be able to purchase coverage even with a medical condition. If you google "HIPAA eligible health insurance" and your state of residence, you can find more info.
12:07 here again. 11:35, I neglected to say that I am very sorry you are in this position.I also wanted to make sure that people understand that, if COBRA is available, you have to pay the *entire* premium--your regular premium PLUS the portion Howrey paid, plus an admin fee of up to 2%. So COBRA actually ends up being unaffordable for many people, especially now that you can't get the federal subsidy anymore.
It is my understanding that because Howrey self insured that there will be no COBRA. COBRA only says that if you have coverage and lose your job the insurance plan has to let you stay on the plan, if you pay the entire premium. Because Howrey self insured, once the firm stops paying their basically is no more insurance. Cigna only was our claims administrator, not our insurer. That is how I understand it. I hope I am wrong because I also have a chronic condition and can't get my own insurance.
My advice to anyone still at Howrey who is at risk of not having a job come May 9th is to apply NOW for your own personal or family health insurance policy. It can take a month or more for insurance companies to process applications. And, at the end of that process, some of you will find that no insurance company will issue you an individual or family policy because of a pre-existing health condition. (And from experience, I can tell you that even conditions that you may consider minor can cause insurance companies to refuse to cover you.) For those of you who find out that you are not insurable in the private system, you will need to then investigate the "high risk pool" policy in your state. These pools will take people the insurance companies will not cover. The high risk pool plan in Maryland is called the "Maryland Health Insurance Plan." It's a state plan, but it's administered by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. Leaving the comfort of an employer-sponsored health plan will help you understand what a broken health insurance system the recent federal healthcare law is trying to deal with, regardless of whether you agree with it's chosen solution. Good luck.
I would second 3:20, but I would add that you should really expect that coverage won't last until May 9. Ask anyone who worked at Heller - they got one day of notice that was well short of the 60 day WARN notice period indicating insurance was going away. Unfortunately, Citibank doesn't give a damn about your health issues. Since you bailed Citibank out with your tax dollars, they in return will thank you taking away your insurance as soon as possible.Just a thought for the weekend: It is unfortunate that we have allowed amoral behavior to take over by sanctifying maximum profits over everything else.
It would be nice if one big partner would step up and publicly say something like, "My people have worked for many years, and since I have made millions in that time, even if I cannot give them another job, I personally pledge to make sure they are taken care of until they get on their feet."That is the honorable thing to do, if anyone would step up. The silence has been deafening.
Hey all- I ran across this regulation that deals specifically with COBRA coverage for “displaced” employees that are not included in a partnership asset sale/dissolution. It looks like WS could possibly be responsible for COBRA continuation under their plan for everyone in Howrey remaining that they did not hire. The reg is 26 cfr 54.4980B-9. See example 8. It looks like we might fit into this category. If someone with more expertise in this area could check this out and look at any admin. decisions or opinions involving this reg, it could shed some light on where we stand.
4:10--this is not a business reorganization per the reg. If you go up to the definition section, it will be clear. W&S will not be on the hook for anything. Also, COBRA isn't available when any employer folds, regardless of whether it was self-insured. There has to be an employer and an employer plan in order for COBRA to apply. All COBRA is is allowing former employees to stay on an employer's plan. No employer, no plan, no COBRA.Look into individual insurance, HIPAA-eligibility, and high risk pools.
Maryland residents--3:20 is right about the Maryland Health Insurance Plan, which is a high risk pool for MD residents. I joined it when my COBRA ran out a few years ago and it has worked out well for me and my family and we also had preexisting conditions. Here is a description from the Website: "MHIP is a state-managed health insurance program for Maryland residents who have been unable to obtain health insurance from other sources. MHIP offers its participants access to both CareFirst BlueChoice HMO and CareFirst Blue Preferred PPO networks. These plans are administered by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and CareFirst BlueChoice, Inc." It might be a good idea to apply right away.
Just want to say that I am so sorry for everyone going through this. No one deserves this, especially those who are expecting or battling serious illness. I am keeping all of you in my prayers. Its really sad that those of us with least control over the dishonest crap that has gone down are the ones who will suffer most. Its so unfair.
I can only relate what happened at Thelen with COBRA. Because there was a winddown group, Thelen was able to offer COBRA coverage (at the employee's own expense) for as long as the windown group continued to function, which was about 10 months after the dissolution. Citibank was holding the purse strings completely in this situation. BTW, Citibank refused to let Thelen pay accrued vacation or WARN Act monies. Once the bank gets in control (which I'm sure will be very soon) Howrey won't be able to piss without getting their permission and all they care about is their money.
Former Howrey folks: I, too went into the Maryland Health Insurance Plan (MHIP) when my COBRA ended after I was laid off from Howrey. It is a decent plan, and they have rate reductions for people who are unemployed. I was unable to purchase independently because I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and was denied coverage elsewhere. If that is the case for anybody else who is a resident of Maryland, the plan will offer coverage. Its guaranteed coverage. If you live in DC or Virginia, or elsewhere, you are also eligible to buy into a plan that is not sponsored by MHIP. That was part of "Obamacare" that already went into effect. Go to www.healthcare.gov and that will help you figure out how to buy into it, regardless of pre-existing conditions. Its not cheap, but it is available. Best of luck to everybody!
Question about COBRA: I had COBRA for April, but then it was cancelled in May retroactively, so that outstanding claims from April were rejected after all. And they still have my rather large COBRA payment for April. Anybody else having this complication?
Did you call the COBRA administrator? If the claim was incurred in April, they have to pay it.