Your Compliance Edge

End of Employment

Employees leave their workplace in a number of different ways.  They can:

  • Be terminated involuntarily
  • Resign voluntarily, or
  • Retire 

Each of these situations is what COBRA calls a “Qualifying Event” that may entitle the departing employee and any enrolled spouse or dependent children to COBRA coverage.  However, a departing employee is not eligible for COBRA if he or she was terminated for “gross misconduct.”  Departing employees and his/her spouses and dependent children, if they were enrolled in your health plan, are eligible for COBRA continuation coverage due to a voluntary or involuntary termination of employment, except for gross misconduct. 

The term "gross misconduct" is not specifically defined in COBRA or in regulations under COBRA. Therefore, whether a terminated employee has engaged in "gross misconduct" that will justify a plan in not offering...

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