Affordable Care: Reversing your opt-out from an employer’s plan

I have been an employee for 12 years at my company. When I first joined, I signed to opt out for health Insurance, thinking I would be able to opt back in. But I have been told by my employer, that I am not able to have Insurance through them since I signed the opt out. My question is under this new law, can they still refuse to include me in their Insurance?   I will be 60 soon, in case that makes a difference.

Loyal Worker

Dear Loyal Worker,

I am not aware of any legal document that you could sign releasing your employer from providing you with health insurance. It is possible that you will have to wait until the plan’s next open enrollment. But under existing laws, they could not refuse to include you in their group plan if other employees similar to you (i.e. working the same number of hours) are offered the plan.

Your first step should be to make sure they are refusing to enroll you at all, and not just asking you to wait until open enrollment. If they are indeed refusing to enroll you, I would ask to get a copy of the agreement you signed. I would take the agreement to your state’s insurance bureau; nearly all state bureaus have a consumer advocate or ombudsman who can help you.

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.