Employer missed health insurance payments – what to do

I just found out that my employer has not been paying for my health insurance for the past seven months.  Should I try to get the $1,400 they “saved” or just be glad that they put me back on the plan?

Unpleasantly Surprised

Dear Unpleasantly Surprised,

If you think this was a simple clerical error, you can go with being glad and move on.  Suing them will cost more than the $1,400 and won’t win you any friends in the company.  However, you could ask them to pay your penalty/tax.  Under the Affordable Care Act, you are required to have health insurance though you can go for three months without having a penalty.  Since you had a seven-month gap, you might get charged a penalty when you file your taxes.

They are lucky that nothing happened to you during the seven months.  If you had a serious accident or a high-cost diagnosis, you would have been uninsured.  The insurer would not be liable for your medical bills, since your premiums were not paid.  From the sounds of it, the company wouldn’t have the money to pay it either.

The skipped payments might be a sign that the company does not have enough money and/or does not place a high value on meeting its commitments to people.  Either one of these makes it a bad place to entrust your future.  If I were you, I’d look for a more stable company to work for.

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Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.