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Continuing insurance isn’t required by workers’ comp

by on
in Employee Benefits Program,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

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 FMLA 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 of FMLA leave expires, 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.

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