What recourse do i have when my former employer withheld money for my health insurance

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What recourse do i have when my former employer withheld money for my health insurance

I was terminated by my former employer on 10/19/2016 and I was given in writing a letter stating that my benefits expired on 11/1/2016. My insurance company at the time later sent a letter stating that my coverage was terminated on 8/1/2016. My former employer had been withholding my premium payments up through my final check prior to my termination. No notice of cancellation was issued prior to the 11/1/2016 date that was supplied.
My wife had a biopsy procedure prior to the policy termination date given to me by my former employer but the insurance company refuses to pay the claim and any other claims after the 8/1/2016 date due to my policy being terminated. I spoke with the HR department of my former employer about this error and they assured me that they would correct the mistake but at the present time nothing has been corrected or changed. Now we are being turned over to collection agencies and this is showing on my credit report. My wife has a follow up appointment with the doctor but they won’t see her due to the unpaid balance that the insurance company won’t pay even though we have insurance with a new company.
What is my best recourse to solve this issue?

Asked on January 11, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sue your employer to get the larger of the premiums they took but did not apply to your insurance or the out-of-pocket medical costs you incurred but which should have been covered by insurance. You can also sue for them to make it possible for you to be on COBRA (if you want to be and an afford it) post-termination, even if that means temporarily reinstating you to their insurance. Basically, they owe you what you paid for--insurance coverage, at least through termination of employment. 
You can file for this on an "emergent" (think: "emergency" or "urgent") basis, though doing so is more procedurally complex. Ideally, you should retain an attorney to help you, but if you can't afford one, you are allowed to file as your own lawyer ("pro se") and should be able to get basic instructions (but not legal advice) and likely sample forms from the counyy court clerk.


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