I worked for a small business for 2.5 years. I recently resigned and put in my two weeks. I was told to clean out my desk and leave immediately.

The business is in Michigan, USA and employs 7 people. I asked my former employer if I could do COBRA for my health insurance until my benefits kick in at my new job. He said he would look into it, he called me back today and said he would let me do it but I would have to pay him my premiums directly, not the insurance company and that I would have to stay 2 months ahead in payments.

  1. Am I eligible for COBRA from such a small company?
  2. Does it make sense that I would need to pay him and not the insurance company?
  3. If 1 and 2 are yes. Is he required to provide me any official documentation in regards to the full costs of my premiums
  4. if 1 and 2 are true, can he require I keep 2 months ahead in payments?

1 Answer 1


Employers with 20 or more full-time-equivalent employees are usually mandated to offer COBRA coverage. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/insurance/11/intro-cobra-health-insurance.asp

He is not required by law to offer it to you, but is probably trying to work with you.

After employment, the individual is required to pay the entire premium, and at times it may be topped up with an extra 2% toward administrative charges.

They can charge you administrative fees on top of what you would have paid.

Being that he does not have to offer it to you by law, he can do what he wants.

  • Additionally I would suggest that paying him (i.e., his company) directly is probably necessary. The health insurance is not your policy, it is the company's policy. Although, in COBRA situations, I have dealt with a administrative provider for payments (and other issues) that has always been one hired by the company I worked for (to eliminate their headaches dealing with ex-employees) and never the health insurance company itself.
    – davidbak
    Nov 6, 2021 at 17:04

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