Are employers required to provide health insurance?
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Asked June 20, 2011
Insurance is often offered as part of a benefits package to enhance employee loyalty, but there are no state or federal laws that require a business to offer health insurance to all or even a portion of their employees. When insurance is offered, the company can determine who is eligible, or maintain employers contributions of differing amounts for different employees. Additionally, the employer has the right to decide when employees become eligible, and the waiting period for health insurance eligibility may range from 30 day to one year.
Even among companies that offer health insurance, there is no obligation for the employer to pay a portion of the health insurance premiums. Many employers offer an increasing amount of health insurance coverage for employees that have excelled in the workplace or been with the company for longer periods of time, but they are not required by aw to do so unless it is part of the employment contract.
On the other hand, employers which do offer health insurance to their employees are require by law to offer COBRA continuation coverage is they meet certain employer conditions such as companies with more than 20 employees and other specifics. Under COBRA the ex-employee has the right to continue their health insurance coverage for a period of at least 90 days, but they must pay the full coverage costs, including any portion previously paid by the company. COBRA coverage can be extended to as much as 180 days, and many health insurance companies will allow you to continue the coverage through a new contract at higher rates than can be provided in the group setting.
Answered June 20, 2011 by Anonymous