denial of health care coverage
Nov 13, 2012
My employer adivised me to seek cheaper health care coverage because the new coverage he was selecting was somewhat very expensive.once I selected and purchased coverage on my own he became upset with me and informed me that i could not ever have coverage in the futre through the company again. can he do this?
Response from Mr. Chambers
It never ceases to amaze me how little employers know about the benefits they spend so much money on. Generally, I will say the answer to your question is NO, he probably cannot do that, but I need to expand that a little.
I have to assume you work for a small employer; otherwise, he wouldn't throw such a fit about your affect on the rates. Keep in mind that regardless of legal protections, you may find it difficult to continue working at that position, especially if you complain to regulators about his actions.
My main question is whether or not this is truly group health insurance. Is everyone in your company getting the same coverage from the same insurance company and not a group of individual health policies?
Assuming that it is a group policy, and you are in a class of employees that are eligible for the group insurance, then your employer is violating federal law (ERISA). Actually, by doing that, he loses the right to deduct his premiums as a business expense.
In addition he may be discriminating against you due to your medical condition, again a violation of federal law.
To question the employer's right to exclude you from coverage, I suggest you contact the US Department of Labor - Employee Benefits Security Administration. Go to http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/ http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/
You can inquire and/or complain either by email or by locating their nearest regional office and contacting them by phone or in person.
You may also want to contact the nearest office of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission who handles work discrimination issues.
As you have described this, your employer may have violated federal law, done you a real disservice, and shown him to be a very ignorant person.
Good luck, Jacques
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