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Can I Use COBRA Insurance If I Am Fired?

Posted on: September 5th, 2012 by Kristen Marie

Dear COBRA Insurance Direct,

I have been working at a company in Nevada for the last ten years.  The company has about 100 employees.  Unfortunately over the last six months or so I have had some personal problems and I was fired because I was consistently late to my shift.  I have had health insurance with them the whole time I have been employed and my wife and children also use the insurance.  Can I sign up for COBRA insurance if I was fired?

Thanks –

Fired and Confused

Dear Fired and Confused -

The good news is that you most likely can sign up for COBRA.  COBRA is for people who lost their jobs voluntarily and involuntarily.  Involuntarily loss of job can include both being laid off or fired as long as there was no gross misconduct.  In most situations being late is not enough to be considered gross misconduct so you should be able to sign up.  If your employer is telling you that you are not eligible due to being fired you can call the Department of Labor in Nevada to argue your case.  You can also contact the health insurance company and they may be able to help.

Additionally depending on your situation, I would recommend also exploring alternative plans because you may find you can save money by using a private plan.

Good luck!

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