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PA Employer Cancelled Health Benefits Before Firing Me! Pennsylvania Pennsylvania

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  • PA Employer Cancelled Health Benefits Before Firing Me! Pennsylvania Pennsylvania

    Hello, I was terminated in Pennsylvania by my employer because of a falling out with the boss's wife, (that is how I got the job, through her). They fired me without any written or verbal warnings of any kind, for something that I did not do. I immediately filed for unemployment, and was granted unemployment benefits due to the situation. What I would like to know is what my legal rights are, if any, about is this : I received a letter from Geisinger Choice, (my ex-employers health plan), this morning, (today is October 20, 2010), and the letter states that my health insurance was terminated as of midnight, on August 31, 2010. The problem that I have with this is that I was not terminated until September 3, 2010. I was still being charged my premium for those days by my employer, and the premium amount was taken out of my check. I was never notified that they dropped my health coverage, and I was under the impression that I had coverage while I was employed there. Also, I was under the impression that I was covered for the 30 days following seperation of the company. The letter that I received states otherwise. I would like to know if it is legal for them to drop my health insurance 3 days before firing me, without notifying me, and if they had a legal right to withhold the premiums from my check if my insurance was cancelled. Do I have any legal recourse? And if so, how do I go about filing a claim against them. I do not want to see this happen to anyone else who is employed with this company. Any advice I can get would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • #2
    As to whether premiums should have been withheld, it depends on what time frame the premiums are for. Are the premiums for the current month or the prior month? If it was for the current month, then they should have not been withheld.

    As to when your insurance should have been cancelled, it depends on the policy. A company may continue insurance through the end of the month (not a month but until the end of the current month) or discontinue insurance as of the date of termination.

    Have you received your Cobra information yet?

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    • #3
      Hello there!
      Thank you for your reply! The premiums withheld were for the month of September. I did receive Cobra paperwork in the mail about a week and a half after I was fired.

      Comment


      • #4
        Are you CERTAIN of that? More places I have worked had premiums roll backwards, rather than forwards.

        More to the point, what does the plan document say about when coverage will end?
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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        • #5
          I should add that I got paid on the day that they fired me, and there was a premium taken from that paycheck, and I received another paycheck in the mail that was for the rest of my hours worked in the pay period that I worked before being fired. There was a premium taken from that paycheck as well.

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          • #6
            I am certain of that. The plan document says that my coverage was terminated 8/31/10- 3 days before they fired me.

            Comment


            • #7
              No, that's not what I meant. I'n not referring to the letter that you received, or anything that is specific to you personally. The plan document is a legal document that spells out all the requirements, inclusions and exclusions of the policy. Your employer has a copy; the insurance carrier has a copy; and you are entitled to see a copy on request. You *may* have been given a copy of what's called an SPD - a summary plan description - at the time you enrolled. If you did not, then you need to ask your employer/insurance carrier for one now; they are legally required to give you one on request (though they are entitled to printing and mailing time). The plan document will say whether or not coverage ends on the last day of employment, the last day of the month following the last day of employment, or a different day altogether.

              And while I am not necessarily doubting you - you could be right - how is it that you are certain that the premiums roll forward? What are you using as a basis for that belief? This is not to say that you are wrong, but to help you with solutions if you are right. The more we know about how you know, the more possible help we can be. As I said, my current employer, my last two employers, my husband's employer, and my sister's employer, all have premiums roll backward. While some employers do have them roll forward, in my experience (which is 30 years worth) that is the exception rather than the rule.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by cbg View Post
                While some employers do have them roll forward, in my experience (which is 30 years worth) that is the exception rather than the rule.
                Not my place to say yes or no, but all my last four employers had medical plans whose coverage always ended on the last day during the month the employee was employed. Meaning term on September 30th, coverage ends September 30th. Term on October 1st, coverage ends October 31st. And the deductions match the coverage, meaning someone terms the first day of the month, they get a whole month's worth of deduction. Maybe this is a West Coast type of thing, but two of these employers are very large companies that everyone has heard of.

                Agreed read the SPD. That spells out what the rules are. The employer must follow the exact wording of THEIR SPD (which can be different from everyone else's SPD), or the government will hit them with a very large stick.
                "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                • #9
                  Not what I'm talking about.

                  For sake of easy understanding, let's assume semi-monthly payroll. The question is, do the health insurance premium deductions taken on September 15 pay for September 1- September 15, or for September 16 - September 30? In my experience, most of the employer' I've dealt with the answer has been September 1-15. Bridgette is saying that for her, it's Sept 16-30. She may be right. But I'm asking how she is certain, so that I can help her devise a way to discuss it with the employer. If she is wrong, I don't want to give her a solution that can harm her position.

                  As far as when coverage ends, in my experience it's about 50-50 whether it goes to the end of the month in which coverage ends, or ends on the last day of employment. My current employer ends it on the last day of employment; both my last two employers carried it through to the end of the month. But that's a different issue than when premium deductions cover.
                  Last edited by cbg; 10-20-2010, 05:11 PM.
                  The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OP, one other question. What was your actual last day worked? If it was in August, even though you may not have been notified until September, your official termination date could very well be (and in most cases, is) the last day worked.
                    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                    • #11
                      Hello again. I would like to thank you all for your comments and advice. I will request an SPD from the insurance company tomorrow via telephone. And to answer the question of when I was fired: I was fired September 3, 2010, which was a Friday. So, they cancelled my insurance on Tuesday, August 31, 2010. I worked that Tuesday August 31, Wednesday September 1, Thursday September 2, and about 4 hours on September 3. So, they cancelled my insurance while I was working, without notifying me. I paid an insurance premium on my September 3rd paycheck, and an insurance premium on my last paycheck, which was September 17th.

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                      • #12
                        But you still haven't explained to me how you KNOW which direction the premiums run. The fact that there was a premium taken out of both checks is not proof that they run forward, and I don't want to give you direction on how to respond to this issue if it's going to turn out that they run backward. That might make matters worse.

                        So, once again, please tell me how it is that you KNOW that premiums run forward.
                        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here is my question. Did you have any claims during those couple of days between the time that the employer says your coverage ended and they date you were terminated?

                          If not, then you are probably spinning your wheels here. Unless the employer has always refunded medical premium payment for everyone who terminated, its unlikely they will do it for you.
                          I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
                          Thomas Jefferson

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Morgana View Post
                            Did you have any claims during those couple of days between the time that the employer says your coverage ended and they date you were terminated?
                            Good question, Morgana.
                            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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