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Employer is denying health coverage to my dependent

Pompano Beach, FL |

I recently took a new job and was offered health coverage. 2 months ago I filled out the insurance application, electing coverage for myself and my son in the spaces provided, then gave the form back to the employer for processing, and thereafter received insurance cards in the mail. However, out of the blue my employer came up to me yesterday, said he had received the insurance bill and that he does not cover my dependent. Can he do this legally and is he even permitted to reject the coverage under Obamacare? I'm reading on a gov't site that "The federal health care reform law requires individual or employer plans to provide coverage for children..up to age 26." See Could you please advise - I would really appreciate it.

There seems to be a pretty clear pro-employer bias in these answers. Interesting how you say the employer's not required to provide the insurance because it's not 2014, this disregards the fact that 2014 is only 4 months away. Why should he reject the coverage now if he's only going to have to provide it in a few more months anyway? Also, he was the one who got my completed form for insurance - there was no secret I was applying for both my son and I. That, plus the fact I got my insurance cards in the mail shows justifiable reliance. I wish I could get the opinion of an attorney who actually represents employees' interests.

Attorney Answers 3


Your employer does no have to offer health insurance to you or your dependents. That provision of Obamacare has not kicked in yet.

The answer to this question is for informational purposes only and does not form an attorney-client relationship.

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At this time, employers are not required to provide health care benefits to employees or their dependents. Additionally, if benefits are offered, the employer can change the terms of the plan at any time so long as proper notice is made to the plan participants.

As noted by my colleague, the portion of the PPACA ("Obamacare") which requires employers to pay all or part of the premium for employee health coverage does not become effective until 2014.

Please note that I am not licensed to practice in your state. I am providing information only on federal law relating to your question. You should consult an attorney in your state for information on applicable state laws.

Your question has been answered as a courtesy. This is not paid legal advice. Nothing in this communication is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Unless expressly stated otherwise, nothing contained in this message should be construed as a digital or electronic signature, nor is it intended to reflect an intention to make an agreement by electronic means.

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Even under Obama Care, which Mr. Malek correctly noted has not fully kicked in yet, I do not believe an employer is required to "pay" for dependent coverage; it will just have to be offered.
One question is, whether the employer represented to you as an inducement to accept the job, that dependents would be covered by the company and if so, whether that was one reason you took the job for the salary offered? If so, it could be a breach of contract issue. I suspect that would be a hard claim to pull off however and not great for job stability.
As an aside, Florida's violently anti-consumer government is doing everything it can to prevent Obama care from being implemented here. They are intentionally making it near impossible for consumers and employers to even understand how it will work and what it will cost. They are refusing to even regulate the plans sold here. My guess is as good as yours how this coverage will play out in Florida.

This answer is a public service and not an attempt to solicit business. Jonathan Groff’s practice is devoted to all aspects of personal injury litigation throughout Florida. He has a “10.0 Superb” rating from AVVO and is rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell. However, this reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raise then I have set out in my brief reply. Further, unless your matter concerns Florida law, I am not licensed to practice or give specific legal advice in your state.

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