Can my employer drop my dependents without written notice because I miss an email ?

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Can my employer drop my dependents without written notice because I miss an email ?

I have been with my employer for 20 years. I pay part of employee/dependent health coverage. Have always received US mail enrollment update material; and in recent years by e-mail as well. Supervisor said that if I miss replying to the upcoming employee e-mail enrollment update, my dependents will automatically be dropped. Can this be done without US mail notification? Anyone could easily miss an e-mail in the dozens of blanket e-mails received daily. I work at home for a large corporation. Have received nothing by mail.

Asked on April 2, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it can be done, IF it is complying with the terms and conditions of the health insurance policy (you need to check both your own policy documents and also reference the agreement between the company and the insurer). Remember, a company is not legally obligatated to provide health insurance. Remember also that an insurance policy is a contract, controlled by its terms. If the terms require that dependents be confirmed/certified/etc. each year during the enrollment period, and always notice by email, then failure to respond to the email would be grounds for dropping the dependents the same as failure to respond to a U.S. postal service letter would be.

You can call the insurer directly to confirm notice requirements and ask any other questions about how and when.


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