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Can an employer cancel a group plan while, not only giving no prior notice, but leading employees to believe they're covered?

Amelia, OH |

I was admited through the ER on Oct 20 2012 from severe stomach pain and ended up having my gallbladder removed. On the way home I stopped to get my meds filled and was informed my insurance had been canceled since Oct 1 2012. My employer held out the premium for the insurance on Oct 18 2012, two days before my surgery. At the first of Oct, we had a company conference call and was informed that our healthcare could possibly be dropped but, at that time was still covered. At the hospital, I was given the choice to have it done then or wait 6 weeks, so I went ahead and had it done since I knew I might possibly be loosing coverage. Not until Oct, 31 2012 was we informed that our insurance was dropped 30 days prior and we would be reimbersed the premium for the 18th, which I never was.

Attorney Answers 1

  1. Generally speaking, employers cannot cancel a group health plan without some type of notice. Opinion differs as to whether it must be advance notice or notice concurrent with the cancellation. Regardless, notifying employees that their insurance coverage was cancelled thirty days prior does not seem to comply with the requirements of ERISA. You need to speak with an attorney in your area that practices in the areas of employment law and insurance law.

    Lori A. Strobl
    Strobl & Associates, Co LPA
    1015 E. Centerville Station Rd.
    Centerville, Ohio 45459
    (937) 496-1450

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