Should employer pay when you leave their health plan?

I’ll be getting married in 37 days and 14 hours (but who’s counting?).  I’m planning to go onto my husband’s health plan.  I told HR this, and they said, “Oh, we’ll save some money on you then!”  I didn’t say anything, but aren’t they supposed to pay me the money they would have paid for my health insurance?  Everywhere else I have worked has offered this, and I was looking forward to it.

Frugal Wife

Dear Frugal Wife,

The employer is not required to pay you anything for the favor of skipping their health plan.  The HR person was right, though perhaps a bit rude to point out the windfall the company would be getting.

Now that you know you won’t get any extra pay for leaving their plan, you might want to re-think your strategy.  Joining your husband’s plan may cost more than staying on your employer’s plan.  If you plan to quit working to have a family, you can drop off your employer’s plan when that happens.  You don’t need to be on your husband’s plan before then.  (Your husband’s group plan will pick you up when you lose your other coverage for “family status changes”, such as when you quit the job or have a baby.)

In the meantime, feel free to subtly hint to your employer that you expect a very nice wedding gift.

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.