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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27880
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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I have a a Problm last march 7, 2011 I had a Heart attaic and

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I have a a Problm last march 7, 2011 I had a Heart attaic and now I'm a Fib with my heart and the Meds I have been on for the last year Cause joint pain I have a Problm with my hands I cant grip or hold things I cant open a Med bottle I probly need to have sergury on my thumb's and I have used up all my time on the books and FMLA and LWOP I have been off since 1/30/12 and I recived a lettler from woork That states that I need to pay my medacial Ins . and I get 904 a week and that takes all my money I cant Pay them and I have to Have a tooth pulled tomarrow and I see the Roomatalagest on wed. I wont have INS I have woorkde for them for
14 yrs what should I do Help me
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of your situation.

The employer is not legally obligated to continue your health coverage beyond the time that you are eligible for FMLA leave, and the fact that you have exhausted the FMLA time, even if the employer is holding your position for you, means that you are now eligible only for COBRA coverage.

It is true that COBRA coverage will cost more, as you now must pay not only your share of the premium but the share that your employer was paying as well in order to maintain coverage. You either have to pay for the coverage or you don't get it.

If you lose your insurance coverage, you will have to pay for all of your medical expenses yourself---and based on the medical problems that you have disclosed, that would be financial suicide to try and go that route. You really MUST continue your health coverage even if it means that other bills go unpaid.

With all respect intended, like so many other folks out there in your situation, you confuse a money problem with a legal problem. There is no legal solution to the fact that you don't have money you need. You need to develop a non-legal strategy for dealing with your financial problems.

You are better off not paying your rent or your car payment and still having medical coverage---as opposed to not having coverage, not being able to get medical care and possibly having serious medical conditions go untreated because you gave up your coverage.

If you have a retirement plan, consider drawing money from it to pay for medical coverage. Consider selling possessions, or borrowing money from friends or family to pay for health coverage---do anything but simply allow the coverage to lapse. The financial cost to you in the long run may literally financially devastate you for many, many years to come if you allow the coverage to lapse---because of uncovered medical expenses you will have in the future, as well as the difficult time you will have in the future of getting medical coverage given your serious pre-existing medical conditions. I'm sorry, there is no good solution to your dilemma---other than you can not afford NOT to have insurance at this point in your life.

I wish you the best in 2012.

I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation, nor was it what I sensed you were hoping to hear. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

Because I help people here, like you, for a living---this is not a hobby for me, and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX abiding by the honor system as regards XXXXX XXXXX I wish you and your family the best in your respective futures.

Would you be so kind as to Accept my Answer so that I may be compensated for assisting you? Bonuses for greatly informative and helpful answers are very much appreciated. Thanks Again,

Doug

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Doug,

I have had a lot of stress at my Job I think there trying to have me leave . what if I cant do my job with my hands after this . I'm a Mechanic for the city of santa clarita

Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.

Good morning,

You stated: "I have had a lot of stress at my Job I think there trying to have me leave . what if I cant do my job with my hands after this . I'm a Mechanic for the city of santa clarita " I'm not sure this has anything to do with your medical insurance issue--so I presume that you are asking a separate question.

If you are still out on medical leave and all of your FMLA leave is used up, then they simply are not obligated to continue your health coverage at their expense. This is common throughout CA and the rest of the country as well.

They may end your leave without pay at any time unless it is guaranteed to you by the city's employment policies---and eventually they can terminate you. The fact that you even have LWOP is amazing. Most private companies would have simply terminated you by now.

The fact that you may have been having stress at work, and that your employer may have been having an issue with your stress---as you may have happened to exhibit it at work---or have to take time off because of it---the reality is that while they may believe that it would be better if you were to leave, they have a 100% valid reason to let you go based solely on your failure to come to work. Even if you could prove that they secretly would like to see you gone---it won't matter, and would not provide a cause of action for wrongful termination as they have a legal basis to let you go based on your continue absence---unless you have the right to a specific number days of LWOP. In that case, they must grant you that time as well.

In the meantime though, you must pay for your own insurance.

If you cannot do your job based on your disability of the use of your hands, then you clearly will not be able to return to the job you were doing before. The city will not legally have to place you in a different position, but I'm sure they will allow you apply for other openings that you are able to do.

Please, remember that I only receive credit for helping you when you Accept my answer. Until then your payment is simply held by JustAnswer.com and not shared with me. Would you be so kind as to Accept my Answer so that I may be compensated for assisting you? Bonuses for greatly informative and helpful answers are very much appreciated. Thanks Again,

Doug

LawTalk, Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 27880
Experience: I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
LawTalk and 2 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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