Conflicting information about my COBRA/Health Continuation, please help!

I was hospitalized and was advised to have emergency medically necessary surgery. I expressed my concerns with wanting a second opinion and after some hassle I was discharged.

The next day I was laid off. In the interim, I eventually needed emergency surgery and had my surgery.

About 3 weeks from being laid off, I receive something in the mail from Paychex saying my period to elect for COBRA/Health continuation along with payment was due. What's crazy is that I received this in the mail mere days before it was due. I contacted my employer and they 'extended it' another week. The documentation stated that my health plan was cut off on my day of termination (sheesh, right?! thought I'd have until the end of the month at least).

I contacted Paychex and they stated I need to mail in payment, my intention to elect, and make payment for the next month as well all immediately?

Does the fact I had the surgery in the interim period instigate/necessitate a need to immediately pay my premium/elect? Reason I ask is because, looking at the mail, it was post-dated before I even had my surgery or even knew I was going to have it (I went in for a consult and was sent straight to ER many days after the documentation was sent in the mail).

Can anyone advise on this? My financial situation due to being laid off, and of course being disabled due to this surgery, is extremely stressful. Having some time to pay my premium and/or elect for the health continuation plan would be a game-changer. I'd love to elect and just have a little bit of a grace period to pay the premium…. but what happens if I don't elect or pay my premium by the date? Do I become fully responsible for those bills incurred after my termination date?

See also  Are you frustrated with CarelonRx/Anthem/Elevance's pharmacy? Please msg me! Let's figure this out.

Thanks for any help or advice

submitted by /u/pit_fulla_cobras