Can an employer in NYS charge the same premium for health insurance for single, single plus one and family coverage?

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Can an employer in NYS charge the same premium for health insurance for single, single plus one and family coverage?

I am starting a new job and in the
benefits package was given the health
insurance options. There are 4 health
insurance companies to choose from
and for each company there is only one
premium whether you choose single
coverage, single plus one coverage or
family coverage. I can only surmise
that everyone is being charged for
family coverage and I would O my
need single coverage. Is this legal?

Asked on October 21, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that providing insurance for employees is a discretionary benefit. According, an employer is free to set the terms under which it will be offered. This means that the same premiums can be charged for singles, family, etc. The only exceptions to this would be if such action constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination (which it does not) or if it violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is perfectly legal (although admittedly uncommon). There is no requirement whatsoever in the law that different premiums be charged for different family sizes--especially in the context of employer provided health insurance, where the employer is free to subsidize employee premiums so that all employees, whether single, plus one, or family, pay the same.


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