What to do if today I went to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions but was told that my company sponsored health plan was cancelled on the first of this month due to non-payment of the premium?

The company has been deducting the employee portion of the premium for 14 years. The company said that they would pay for the prescriptions and any doctor bills through the end of of this month but would not return the employee portion of the premium that the employees were contributing. I was planning to schedule surgery next month. Isn’t this a violation of the fiduciary duty of a company? What are my options?

Asked on July 22, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First, you would have no recourse for any expenses (e.g. prescriptions and doctor bills through the end of the month) for which the company is paying, since you have not been injured in regards to them--you're getting them paid for. They also do not have to give you back the premium if they are covering your costs for you, since you are getting (presumably) coverage equal to or even possibly greater than you would have received from the insurance; again, you appear to not have been injured or damage.

Going forward, an employer is not under any obligatino to continue providing health insurance for its employees, unless you have a written employment (or union) contract requiring them to provide health insurance--though if you do have such a contract, you could sue them for breach of contract for not continuing to provide coverage, and could potentially get a court order ("injunction") forcing them to continue to do so for as long as the contract requires. Without such a contract, though, the insurer may elect to discontinue health coverage, and you cannot force them to keep providing it (though they can't take money from you for the insurance going forward unless they actually provide it).


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