Employees who are out on unpaidare still entitled to health insurance benefits if they were covered before going out on leave. However, if the employee was required to pay part of the premium before taking leave, that obligation continues.
But no pay means no insurance. If he skips any payments, the employer can terminate coverage without violating the.
Recent case: Shelby Lampley sued under the FMLA, saying his employer canceled his health insurance while he was out on FMLA leave.
But he had to admit under oath that he had not paid his part of the insurance premium. The employer paid its share until Lampley stopped paying.
The court said the employer did nothing wrong. Employees on leave must continue paying their previous share of premiums to keep insurance in place. (Lampley v. IMSServices, No. 10-11543, 11th Cir., 2011)
Final note: Ordinarily, the employee’s premium is collected via payroll deduction. Be sure to discuss this practical matter with the employee before he goes out on FMLA leave. Many employees don’t realize they have to continue the premium payments.