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My husband fell on May 3, 2008, had emergency neurosurgery to relieve the pressure from a severe tramatic brain injury bleed. He had 3 strokes thereafter. He is still in the hospital, but recovering. He will be transferred to a Tramatic brain injury Rehab Center next week. Last week his employer laid him off and refused to cobra his insurance (it is an At Will Company with less than 20 employees). I have called the employer every day pleading for him to reconsider and cobra the insurance, he has still refused because it will include paper work. His oncologist is no longer comfortable in treating him for SCLC. I need help in obtaining medical insurance for both the brain injury and SCLC. I have an appointment with SSD on the 27th of May, but have been told medicare will not begin for 2 years. Thank you in advance for any information/suggestions you believe may be helpful.

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mas-a, have you contacted the insurance company directly?

I was always under the impression that offering a COBRA policy was a requirement, not an option. As a matter of fact, my husband just retired effective May 1, 2008. He carried family coverage for our son and me. When he retired, we were given the COBRA information. We opted to cover our son but not me, due to the high cost (thankfully, Larry's coverage is paid for as a retiree benefit through his employer). I actually had to sign a paper stating that I didn't want the coverage for myself. Since I signed that paper, I have received two letters from the insurance company telling me I can still sign up.

Anyway, it may be be worth your time to make that call. Good luck!

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Hi, you are correct. If an employer has less than 20 employees he does not have to offer COBRA. However, see if the group plan has a conversion benefit. If so, you can covert to an individual plan directly with the insurance company. Just call the 800 number on the back of your ID card and ask them. The coverage may not be as good as the group plan, but there will be no medical underwriting or pre-exisiting conditions exclusions. Good Luck! Teri

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Thank you all for your input. I just returned home from the hospital. I try to get to the hospital by 6am and stay throughout the day and evening. I did contact the local State Representative, the local news media, my husband's former employer, the insurance agent, several insurance companies, but have been unable to obtain coverage. It has been suggested from another agent that the insurance company may be able to transition the policy, I will contact them again tomorrow after applying for SSD for my husband.

As for his Dr., I apologize for unintentionally misrepresenting the facts; she will no longer treat him due to the head injury, not the insurance issue (she is unaware of his boss' immoral decision not to cobra).

The State Representative contacted a nursing facility whose representative contacted me during the tour of the rehab center. I was unable to discuss the pending lack of insurance at that particular time. I asked to be contacted later that day to discuss the matter. Although, things look grim at the moment, my family and I are blessed; my husband has survived the traumatic brain injury. The neurosurgeon originally informed me my husband would be on life support in a nursing home for the remainder of his life. He was disappointed I would not sign a DNR. Today, my husband opened his eyes as he has for several days and smiled. He is now trying to speak, is able to move his left arm and leg, is breathing on his own, and will continue to improve. As for his oncologist; I pray she will reconsider treating him, if not, we will find another Oncologist. He is a fighter, and will continue to beat the odds. Again, any information would be appreciated, thank you to all who have responded. I will have a busy day tomorrow following up on the suggestions.

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