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.
- Don't ask workers to waive past or future FMLA claims
- Don't count on vague leave language to limit care for employees' family members
- Don't cave to telecommuting request if it won't allow disabled employee to do job
- Common small-company confusion: believing FMLA applies to them
- Beware demanding 100% recovery--it could mean you're violating the ADA