Q. We have several employees out on workers' comp claims. Our policy is to pay for the employee but not dependents. How can we terminate the group insurance for employees who are out on workers' comp for more than three months? —M.O., Washington
A. You're confused, but don't feel bad. Many employers mix up their obligations under with their state workers' comp obligations. While state workers' comp laws vary, they typically provide two types of benefits: wage loss and medical. Workers' comp laws usually don't require you to continue providing health insurance.
On the other hand, FMLA does require you to continue group health insurance for up to 12 weeks, as long as the employee continues to pay his or her share of the premiums. So, most employers usually terminate group coverage after the employee's 12 weeks ofexpires, and then they issue a COBRA notice.
Before doing anything, check to see if your state has a leave law that goes beyond the FMLA. And make sure that your organization is covered by the FMLA and/or COBRA.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- OK to call employee who is on FMLA leave--just keep the conversation short and sweet
- Beware demanding 100% recovery--it could mean you're violating the ADA
- Can we reduce pay for exempt employee who will miss work for intermittent FMLA leave?
- Document efforts to get FMLA certification