I was recently laid off due to lack of work and my previous employer will cover my health insurance for 18 months. I live in Virginia but just accepted a position with a company in Massachusetts to work remotely from home.
Is it ethical and legal to stay on my previous employer’s COBRA if I have another job?
Is it ethical and legal to be reimbursed for healthcare costs in the Virginia market from a company in Massachusetts? Is it more proper to seek healthcare coverage in Massachusetts? May I shop both and choose whichever is the better plan for our needs (Husband and Wife 51 and 54)?
You can continue COBRA for your allotted time until you elect to obtain coverage from another source including another employer. Continuing COBRA is ethical and legal and is your choice, even if you move out of state (although unless you have a PPO that covers all states you may find your best coverage option in the state you reside).
The above being said you most likely won't want to pass up your open enrollment opportunity at your new employer, COBRA is meant to bridge the gap between enrollment options. You should still remain aware of special enrollment periods triggered by losing your non-COBRA coverage and open enrollment periods for new coverage.
In cases where the COBRA recipient goes on Medicare or family members can't join a the new plan COBRA can be continued just for the family too. COBRA extensions can be requested for any member on the plan in a number of specific situations as well.
You can read most of the important COBRA rules form the Department of Labor here.