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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 111679
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I was a manager for a large retailer. I was then

Customer Question

I was a manager for a large retailer. I was then hospitalized and on bed rest during my pregnancy for a few months. Even though I sent in the paperwork several times, they failed to add my premature daughter to my health insurance policy. I did not find out until nearly 6 months later when the hospital contacted me saying they had a hard time billing my insurance for her. They sent a letter to me demanding payment for a difference in premium within 10 days or my policy would be canceled. I mailed in the check. I then went to fill a prescription for myself and it was not approved (Cost of approx.$1800.) My insurance had been canceled without notice. My neurologist was also trying to get authorization for a procedure so I could return to work, but called to inform me they could not get approval because my insurance was canceled January 20th WITHOUT NOTICE and WITHOUT OFFERING COBRA. When I contacted them, they left a message stating they did NOT receive mu payment and demanding I pay additional money THAT DAY to reinstate the possibly for the months I did not have coverage. I was denied a procedure and denied medication and because of this, my condition has become worse. I then lost my job because I was too ill to get out of bed most days.
Previously, I had filed a complaint with corporate HR against my boss for harassing myself and other employees. They did not properly investigate the situation and it was brushed off stating I was under stress from my divorce. Since then, other employees have complained and asked to be transferred out of her location.
Sorry for the long explanation, I tried to sum it up
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I have now had to rely on state insurance that does not cover the medication that improves my condition. I am too ill to find new work. Even though I am currently being recruited for a position with a salary range fo $95,000-145,000 per year based solely on a recommendation and referral from previous boss, I fear I will tarnish my reputation in the field if I pursue it further and I am too ill to keep up with the demands of the position.I also am now in a financial position where I can not pay my bills, can no longer afford my rent, car payments etc and it is inevitable that Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be filed in next few months. All because they canceled my health insurance making it impossible for me to return from my leave of absence.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
The employer cannot cancel your insurance without notice while you are on FMLA or upon your return from FMLA. This would be a violation of both COBRA (for not notifying you and offering COBRA benefits) and FMLA. For starters, and people have tremendous success with this, you need to file a complaint with the US Department of Labor for violation of both COBRA and FMLA and they will work to try to resolve the issue and the employer would be liable for the medical costs that should have been covered by insurance.
If the US Department of Labor cannot resolve the complaint, then you have grounds to sue the employer for improperly canceling your insurance contrary to FMLA and COBRA and seek damages from them including the costs of any uncovered medical care.
Also, you have grounds, if they terminated you in retaliation, to add a cause of action in your suit against them for the retaliatory discharge.
In addition to the above, you also can pursue workers compensation claim if the cause of your subsequent illness through EDD or at least apply for short term disability for the time you cannot work.
You really need to consider getting a local employment law attorney to represent you because the stress of doing all of the above can make you sicker if you are already still not fully recovered.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you kindly for your reply. I line in Mission Viejo, Ca. Are you by chance in the area to discuss representation?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for you reply.
Legally, the attorneys on this site are forbidden by state law from engaging in any representation. I am sorry, but we must abide by state law. If you would like a local attorney, you can get one at the same sites used by other attorneys, http://www.hg.org or http://www.lexmundi.com