Can employer increase insurance rates for certain employees and not increase for others?

Asked over 1 year ago - Roseville, CA

Due to the new health care laws, rates have increased. The company's group plan rate increased by $9000.The manager took that group plan increase and only charged those that are paying out of pocket for the family plan, but did not charge those that are single coverage. The company pays for the employees share of health coverage. If you opt to have family coverage it was $125/mo regardless of how many people you include on the plan.

Well they told us on Jan 10th that the new rate would take effect in our Jan 15th check and will increase to $175 for those with the family plan. Those with employee only will still be covered by the company at no additional cost to them.

Is this even legal to only charge certain employees for the increase instead of charge everyone a portion of the increase?

Additional information

Those of us that have the family plan and are paying out of pocket expenses, and especially those that are the sole provider for their homes, are very upset by this. It just doesn't seem fair that they would only charge people with a family plan an additional $50/month (which in a single parent household, that can make or break your budget). Shouldn't they have charged everyone in the company, including the "employee only" classified people? Even if they had to pay $10-20 for their health coverage it would be better than taking a full $175 from people supporting their families.

Is it lawful for them to inform us a few days before they deduct it from our checks? Is it lawful to only charge certain people for the rate increase, even though that increase was for the ENTIRE COMPANY group plan? Is that some sort of singling out or discrimination since most of the higher ups are in that single coverage category?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Christopher Edward Ezold


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey or Federal law applies, unless otherwise specified.

    That being said, the employer can change your wages, including benefits, without notice going forward (unless you have a contract). It does not appear that the employer is treating you differently, however. It appears that the employer is charging everyone for their own coverage, and charging those who want extra coverage an extra amount. This does not appear unfair to me; those employees who do not want family coverage should not be charged extra for your family's coverage.

    If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or telephone number.

    /Christopher E. Ezold/

    The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
    Employment, Business and Health Law
    One Belmont Avenue, Suite 501
    Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
    (610) 660-5585

    Answered 8 months ago. Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed... more
  2. Norman Antonio Stiteler

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You also have to understand that under the new laws, employers are actually required to pay a bit more for family coverage, starting this year and increasing every year.

    By way of explanation, I found this article that may help to clarify this:

    Thus, not only are they permitted to increase the rates, they are being required to increase them disproportionately.

    I am licensed in New Mexico and Pennsylvania, and therefore any discussion of issues related to other states must... more
  3. Barry Franklin Poulson

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Not only do I not see a legal issue here, it hardly seems unfair. The essence of the new health law is that workers pay for non-workers. More to come.

    We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I... more

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