If my employer continued to deduct ins. premiums after I no longer qualified for benefits, do I legally have the right to get them back?

My part-time status started bout 3 months ago. However, my company continued to deduct insurance benefit premiums for months when they caught the error. When I asked about having the premiums returned to me, she said “No, what we did is just continued your benefits for those 3 months”. The employee handbook does not mention that employer can modify policy at will to decide to continue my coverage for a period that I didn’t need or use. Do I have a legal leg to stand on in asking for premiums back?

Asked on July 31, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you actually received the benefits for that time, then you most likely cannot recover the money. The employer's internal policy (e.g. who qualifies for benefits) is often not legally enforceable; moreover, if you received the benefits, it may be that you did not actually suffer any loss or injury for which you could seek compensation. (On the other hand, if you were covered under a different plan during that time, so that the payments to your employer's plan were "wasted," then you may be able to sue for their return--though it may not be worth the cost of a lawsuit.)

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