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What happens to COBRA in rehire situation?


Guest Linda Devine
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Guest Linda Devine

Here's the scenario...Employee was laid off and elected COBRA. A few months later employee is rehired, and he wants to elect coverage under the employer's health plan as an active employee. (Coverage is totally voluntary, and paid completely by the employee.)

I need to know what happens to the COBRA coverage when the employee elects coverage as an employee. We are facing situations where sometimes the preexisting condition limitation period is satisfied, and sometimes there's a remaining limitation period.

One of the conditions under which COBRA coverage will end (according to the federal regs) is the first date after the date of the election upon which the QB is covered under any group health plan THAT IS NOT MAINTAINED BY THE EMPLOYER. This condition appears to prevent termination of COBRA coverage if the group health plan election is made through the same employer that provides COBRA coverage.

The subject group health plan pays stated dollar amounts for health care services and does not contain a COB provision, so we are concerned about double coverage. We do, however, have a provision in the eligibility section of the policy that states that no one may be covered more than once under the policy. If we can't force the employee to drop COBRA coverage, this may be our "out" for not providing both COBRA coverage and coverage as an active employee.

Any insight would be most appreciated! (And sorry to be so long-winded!)

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