Employer is denying health coverage to my dependent

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 http://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/consumer/cb005.html. Could you please advise - I would really appreciate it.

Pompano Beach, FL -

Attorney Answers (3)

Mark Raafat Malek

Mark Raafat Malek

Patent Application Attorney - Melbourne, FL
Answered

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.
Jonathan Hayes Groff

Jonathan Hayes Groff

Personal Injury Lawyer - Miami, FL
Answered

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... more
William Fulton Broemer

William Fulton Broemer

Employee Benefits Lawyer - Houston, TX
Answered

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... more

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