It is not unusual for employers to downsize due to a weak economy brought on by any number or combination of factors. This often results in an employee losing his or her job which can be catastrophic to their family, especially if they were the primary breadwinner.
When this occurs, Wagner Stuart, PLLC can help minimize the pain by helping with the negotiation of the terms of separation to get you a better severance package. In addition, we can help you when deciding how best to handle your 401(K), pension plan, life insurance and AD&D insurance, medical insurance, etc.
The loss of a job often means the loss of the family’s medical insurance. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) requires group health plans to provide a temporary continuation of group health coverage that otherwise might be terminated. COBRA requires continuation coverage to be offered to covered employees, their spouses, former spouses and dependent children when group health coverage would otherwise be lost. COBRA applies generally to all group health plans maintained by private-sector employers with 20 or more employees, or by state or local governments.
If you become entitled to elect COBRA continuation coverage when you otherwise would lose group health coverage under a group health plan, consider all options. You need to get other health coverage before you make a final decision. In order to be entitled to elect COBRA continuation coverage, your group health plan must be covered by COBRA, a qualifying event must occur and you must be a qualified beneficiary for that event. Group health plans must provide covered employees and their families with certain notices explaining their COBRA rights.
If you are entitled to elect COBRA coverage, you must be given an election period of at least 60 days (starting on the later of the date you are furnished the election notice or the date you would lose coverage) to choose whether or not to elect continuation coverage.
What becomes of your 401(k) or Thrift Plan if you are no longer employed? Wagner Stuart can help you determine the options open to you. For example, leave your account as is, have the balance paid to you, initiate a rollover, either in whole or in part. Understanding your options provides peace of mind and leads to making better informed decisions.
Whether you need a representative to advocate for a better severance or legal counsel to walk you through managing your benefits during your unemployment, Wagner Stuart has built a comprehensive knowledge base to help you make the right choices. Set up an appointment with attorney John Stuart today.