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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18098
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I have disability and health insurance questions. My friend

Customer Question

I have disability and health insurance questions. My friend H, has been in the hospital for the past 4 weeks. He's been in the ICU and under sedation. He works for a company that has less than 20 employees, non FMLA. We filed for disability for him and he has started to receive checks. His company will stop paying their share of health insurance. We gave them the go ahead to take the COBRA premium out of H's last paycheck. Since he has disability, by law they have to take him back as an employee, right? Also, ending the health insurance and going on COBRA, does that jeopardize his going back to work. Also aren't they required to pay their share of the medical cost? My friend H lives in New York. Doesn't Obamacare and/or is there a federal statue that prevents employers from not paying their share of health insurance?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry, but I do not understand your post.

Why would H's employer stop paying for his health insurance while he is out on leave?

Why would the employer put him on COBRA in the first place if he has not been terminated?

Kindly provide proper foundation for your questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's what I am asking you? We filed papers to put him on disability and they said that the health insurance was expiring and he would need to go on COBRA. As a small business in NYS do they have the right to do that? There was no formal paperwork delivered to his house indicating that he was no longer employed. Here is the email from the employer. Is this legal?After added research, it has come to our attention that we unfortunately have to put Howard on COBRA for his healthcare starting February 1.As you know, Howard has been out on medical leave for almost 30 days. An absences of this length is considered a "qualifying event" such that he is no longer eligible for health insurance coverage on the Company's plan. However, Howard would be eligible to continue his health insurance coverage under New York State's health insurance continuation coverage law (which is akin to the federal COBRA law), but he would be responsible for paying the full premium of such coverage on a monthly basis.Given Howard's condition and the fact that he is still in need of constant and serious medical treatment, we really do not want to see Howard lose his coverage. In order to cover the cost of Howard's continuation coverage, since he clearly is not in a position to make the monthly payments himself, we would like to hold his last paycheck, and after contributing to his 401K, apply the balance to his next four month of continuation coverage premiums. We cannot, however, do this without authorization from Howard (or, in this case, his legal proxy).To that end, we at this point need Howard's legal proxy to move forward to authorize us to make these deductions from Howard's last paycheck to cover the cost of his insurance premiums. The legal proxy would also be able to deposit his previous check. Please advise as soon as possible, so that we can proceed either way (either by notifying his carrier of the termination of his insurance coverage, or setting him up for continuation coverage).
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the clarification.

Your Questions:

Since he has disability, by law they have to take him back as an employee, right?

Response 1: No, the employee does not have to take him back.

Also, ending the health insurance and going on COBRA, does that jeopardize his going back to work.

Response 2: No, it does not if the employer still wants him to come back to his position.

Also aren't they required to pay their share of the medical cost?

Response 3: No. There is no employer contribution to COBRA. That's why COBRA is very expensive.

My friend H lives in New York. Doesn't Obamacare and/or is there a federal statue that prevents employers from not paying their share of health insurance?

Response 4: No, under the conditions that you have described here, the employer has no duty to pay for his insurance.

Instead of going to COBRA, it is prudent to go to your state's website for Obamacare or Healthcare.gov to see if you can get a less expensive coverage for him.

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