Q.- We are terminating an employee for gross misconduct. He was covered under our health plan, and we are not offering him COBRA continuation coverage. Do we have to offer COBRA coverage to his family members who were also covered under the plan?
A.- You should be aware that there is a very high threshold for denying COBRA coverage based on termination for gross misconduct. Courts do not look kindly on employers denying individuals the right to continue group health coverage. If you are certain that the termination really was based on gross misconduct and the employee is not being offered COBRA continuation coverage, then neither the employee nor the covered family members have a qualifying event for COBRA purposes. No member of the family has to be offered the right to continue coverage under COBRA.