What to do if an employer is no longer going to be able to insure its employees?

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What to do if an employer is no longer going to be able to insure its employees?

I have a friend who works at an assisted living home. She told me that recently her employer notified the staff that they were no longer paying a contribution to health insurance and that they hadn’t been able to pay the contribution for some time due to financial hardship so the insurance company had given them the boot. Her employer did not disclose this information until 2 days prior to the end of coverage. The employees were still having the individual contributions deducted from their pay. Is this okay? What chance do they have to fight it or receive some kind of retribution?

Asked on September 29, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There is no law requiring an employer to provide health insurance, so the employer may discontinue the coverage at will. (Even the new health care law, once it goes fully into effect, will not require coverage--employers may pay a fine or penalty rather than provide insurance.)

Any money taken from employee paychecks for insurance without actually providing insurance at that time, however, must be returned, and if the employer will not return it, the employees could take legal action (e.g. sue) for its return.


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