Whatis the obligation of an employer to provide health benefits?

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Whatis the obligation of an employer to provide health benefits?

I work for small company as a full-time (40+ hours/week) that does not offer health insurance. My husband is unemployed and we are both over 50 years old. Is the employer under any legal obligation to provide health benefits for me?

Asked on July 22, 2011 Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, in most states providing health insurance as well as vacation/sick time, is a discretionary benefit that may or may not be provided by an employer. The fact is that in an ""at will employment arrangement, an employer as the right to set the terms of employment (in turn an employee can choose to work for an employer or not). The only way around this is if there is an employment contract, union agreement, or specific company policy that provides otherwise. Also, if some form discrimination plays a role in this lack of insurance coverage (although you did not suggest that it did).  


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