Health insurance has been stopped

stu2900February 14, 2006

This is my first time on this forum and I don't know if this is an appropriate question, but I thought I'd give it a try. My BIL was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer last month. He has been taking chemo once a week and radiation therapy 5 days a week. The company he worked for for 30 years was taken over by a large conglomerate recently and they have now told him they have to let him go and stop his health insurance. We know about Cobra for insurance, but is it legal to just drop someones insurance like that? It's hard to afford the Cobra if you can't work. Is going on disability the answer? The family will pitch in and help with whatever needs to be done, but we're looking for any alternatives that may be available. He's doing fairly well and other than his voice being pretty much gone due to the cancer and feeling tired from the treatments, he's felling pretty good. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Have other employees been let go or is your BIL one of only a few? If there has been a wholesale discharge of employees, I don't think there is anything that can be done.

However, if only your BIL and a few others have been laid off, perhaps there is a discrimination issue here.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 2:48PM
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He's the only one being let go. It's because he can't work.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 5:39PM
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If he's the only one, then I'd make a call to an attorney - it may or may not be discrimination.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 6:12PM
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Many places have a policy that states you can terminate employment at any time for no reason and the employer can terminate employment at anytime for no reason. Sucks! Cobra has to be offered, but is usually VERY expensive. Check with social services may be able to get general assistance or something.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 5:38AM
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Vickey is correct. It is legal because they are not completely cutting him off. They offer Cobra. Yes, I know how extremely expensive it is, (can't afford it myself) but that is their legal way out. They offered other insurance.

Maybe there are other facilities or programs that can help out.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 9:16AM
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At will employees w/o a contract may be dismissed at any time w/o recourse.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 1:44AM
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the only way it would be against the law for them to lay him off, if the illness was a work related illness and related to a worker's comp claim. Does he work with fumes, asbestos, etc.?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 11:37PM
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This is what's wrong with an employer driven health care system. Wouldn't it be nice to know that if you were fired, you'd still be getting the same insurance for the same amount of money you were already paying? Obviously, the people who are afraid of universal health care are the ones that don't have anyone in their own family who are ill and don't understand the implications of what happens when an illness strikes.

My daughter has diabetes and because of that, now has gastroperisis. Her husband left her and quit his job. So, I am paying for her Cobra although I am now earning 1/2 of what I used to due to the economy which is barely above minimum in some states. How are people supposed to survive? What if she didn't have me to help her out? She already used up her lifetime 5 bottle supply of free insulin.

I didn't mean to hijack this thread but this makes me so angry, especially when so many people are uninformed and so insensitive.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 11:57AM
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I'm sorry for your b-i-l. What a crappy way to be treated after 30 years, take over or not! Unless it's changed, and it may very well have, when my dad signed up for disability after a cancer diagnosis, sadly, he died before the waiting period was over. But that might not be the case anymore. It really makes me angry how people pay into this stuff and get brushed aside in the end!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 3:38PM
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Some States will allow someone like him to enroll in a limited Medicaid plan. It would pay for treatment for the cancer and anything related to that, but unlike regular Medicaid, it will not pay for other illness like broken legs, flu, etc. Check with your local Human Resource Department. I have no idea what it might be called in your State. He might get help there. Also, some hospitals have connections with the American Cancer Society and they will help with payment.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 10:14PM
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Call your senator and your congressman. Call your state officials. Call everyone. And check with social services too. In this state it would fall under the laws against discrimmination because of disability. Call your local paper and write the editor. Make as much noise as possible.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 7:08PM
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The Insurance carrier, not the employer, calls the shots as to who is covered. If the policy says "Full Time Employees" and it usually does, and the employer continues to pay premiums on anyone not working full time, the employer is in danger of having the coverage canceled for ALL his employees. This has NOTHING to do with discrimmination. The employer is powerless to do anything except keep the BIL on full pay and indefinite leave of absence, which in this case, could be considered fraud.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 12:08PM
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He should absolutely go on disability. I assume his diability is either terminal or likely to last for at least 12 months. That's the standard.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 6:21PM
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Check with your local Department of Social Services...our county has medical assistance until a person can either go back to work or qualifies for total disability or Medicaid.
I am sorry to hear about his illness and his dilema.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2006 at 11:48PM
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