Have you been off work due to an inury and discovered that the private personal health insurance you had with your company was cancelled or terminated? Here are a few useful tips that may help you with your claim moving forward.
Your employer must notify you that they plan to terminate your private health insurance and give you the option to purchase COBRA coverage, which must be paid out of your own pocket if you chose to maintain insurance.
This has no bearing on your workers’ compensation claim because that involves a separate/different insurance plan altogether. If your employer paid for any portion of your health insurance but has now stopped, this may factor into your average weekly wage for purposes of your indemnity benefits. As a result, your average weekly wage may increase a bit to include the amount of the health insurance that your employer was paying on your behalf.
Does this mean they can stop your private health insurance? The short answer is yes, they can (even though you are off work due to an injury sustained at work). This is most unfortunate for employees that depend on their private health insurance to cover chronic issues, regular medications to keep them healthy, or even coverage for their spouse and dependents. Most employees can not afford to pay for the COBRA cost to continue this health insurance since it’s usually more than what they get in workers’ compensation benefits!
What can you do? Give us a call today so that we can offer you an evaluation to see if the termination of the health insurance coverage would affect the amount of your average weekly wages for purposes of your weekly benefits.