Practical Insights

How Can An Employer Manage Employee Health Plan Premium Contributions During An Unpaid FMLA Leave?
Date   Feb 1, 2007
During a Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) leave of absence, an employee’s group health plan coverage must be maintained on the same basis as when the employee was actively working. Among other things, this means the employee must continue to pay any required contributions to the premium cost for the coverage. Often employees fail to pay their share of the premium cost on time or do not pay the premiums at all during their FMLA leave. In that situation, if the employee does not return to work, the employer may find it difficult to recover any premiums it paid on the employee’s behalf. In addition, the group health plan may pay claims for the employee or covered dependents that otherwise would have been denied due to the employee’s failure to make the required contributions.