Health Insurance

Are fired employees eligible for COBRA?

Yes, fired employees are eligible for COBRA, unless they were fired for “Gross Misconduct”.

What is gross misconduct?

Unfortunately, while the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) mentions gross misconduct as a reason for denying COBRA eligibility, it does not define what is considered gross misconduct.

In many cases, the gross in gross misconduct needs to be really, well, gross, for COBRA benefits to be denied. Some examples include:

  • Destroying property;
  • Assaulting a co-worker; and
  • Rape.

As with any situation that touches on employee termination, thorough documentation is key. Only with clear and concise records can gross misconduct be determined.

This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal, benefits, or HR advice. Benefits and insurance regulations may change over time and may vary by location and employer size. So, please consult a licensed broker or appropriately certified expert for advice specific to your business’s benefits options.