An employer cannot terminate your health insurance while you’re on workers’ compensation out of spite or retaliation. However, certain situations could lawfully let them terminate your coverage. This could make it difficult to pay for necessary medical treatments in the aftermath of an on-the-job injury. If you have concerns about being treated fairly by your employer or an insurance provider, you have legal options––one of which involves partnering with a workers’ compensation lawyer. Call KJT Law Group now to discuss your rights and next steps.
An Employer Could Cancel Your Health Insurance While on Workers’ Compensation
As noted, you have protection from your employer’s retaliation. It is illegal for them to cancel your health insurance unless:
- You fail to make the payments. Your health insurance may require that you make monthly payments. If these payments lapse, the agency could terminate your policy. This would be an issue between you and your provider, not between you and your employer.
- Your employer has financial difficulties. Many employers offer health insurance as a benefit of employment. Yet, if your company has financial problems, it could have issues maintaining its employees’ policies.
- A contract allowed for the policy’s cancellation. You may have signed a contract that terminated your health insurance if you could not work for a certain period, even if you were on workers’ compensation.
In regard to the last bullet, if you signed a contract with your employer regarding your benefits, keep in mind that it might not be valid. California law requires that all contracts clearly outline their terms. If you signed a contract with a clause purposefully buried under mountains of confusing legalese, it might not be valid.
What Happens if My Employer Cancels My Health Insurance?
If your employer cancels your health insurance while you are receiving workers’ compensation—or at any other time—they must give sufficient notice prior to doing so. If you take FMLA leave, your health insurance cannot be canceled during your leave. Your insurer can, however, require you to make some health insurance payments.
While workers’ comp will cover all of your medical costs for a work-related injury or illness, you may have other healthcare needs that require medical attention. If your employer cancels your health insurance, you could struggle to have your other medical needs (or those of your family) met.
In a situation like this, you could benefit from hiring a lawyer. They can explain your options and determine whether you could seek additional damages through a third-party liability claim.
Workers’ Compensation Could Offer Healthcare Coverage
Workers’ compensation insurance protects people who suffer illnesses or injuries while on the job. Generally, you can receive:
- Cost-free medical care starting immediately after your injury or illness
- Two-thirds of your average weekly salary (after a certain period)
Here’s a situation to better illustrate insurance-related matters. You work in an office and have health insurance through your job. You suffer a work-related injury after slipping and falling down the stairs, breaking an arm.
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer should pay for the costs associated with that injury. So, even if your health insurance gets canceled, you should still receive treatment through the workers’ compensation system.
You Could Benefit From Taking a Leave of Absence
If you’re concerned about taking time off work or affording medical care, you could benefit from the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Here, you could take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without worrying about losing your job.
To qualify, you must:
- Work for a company with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius
- Have worked for your employer for at least one year total
- Must have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months immediately prior to your leave
FMLA would not offer compensation for your healthcare expenses. Yet, it allows you to take time from work to heal without fear of retaliation––such as getting fired.
There are times when an injured worker could qualify for FMLA and workers’ compensation at the same time. For many, this is the best of both worlds; you can take time off work while still receiving two-thirds of your lost income and payment for your healthcare expenses.
How Can a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer From KJT Law Group Help?
While you can handle a workers’ compensation case on your own, there are a myriad of benefits that come with hiring a lawyer to represent you. While you focus on restoring your health, your lawyer will:
- Prove your injury occurred at work
- Assert that your workplace illness is not part of a preexisting condition
- Collect medical evidence and build a strong case file
- Speak with lay and relevant expert witnesses
- File an effective appeal, if needed
You do not have to fight for your rights without legal guidance and direction. Your lawyer can guide you through every step of your workers’ comp journey from beginning to end.
It Costs Nothing Out of Pocket to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you cannot work due to an on-the-job injury or illness, you might be hesitant to incur the cost of hiring a lawyer. You should not have to forego legal service and support when you want it most.
A workers’ compensation lawyer (like one from our firm) will represent you on a contingency-fee basis. They will only receive compensation after they recover damages for you. If your case does not result in workers’ compensation benefits, you will not owe any legal fees at all.
Call Our Case Workers’ Comp Review Team Now
If you are receiving workers’ comp benefits, it will not cover unrelated injuries or illnesses. That can leave you in a difficult situation if your employer cancels your health insurance. Find out what your rights are and how you can protect yourself. Contact the case review team at KJT Law Group by calling (818) 507-8525 today.