Can An Employer Cancel Health Insurance While on Workers’ Compensation in Iowa? |Know Your Rights as
When it comes to disputes around workers’ compensation benefits, such as receiving health insurance, the situation can quickly become a tug of war; with the employer and insurance company on one side, and the employee alone on the other.
In such circumstances, it helps if the employee knows their rights, and it’s even better when they bring their own experienced lawyer to the fight.
Tom Fowler, is here to help employees who find themselves being denied their rights as workers, and as residents of the great state of Iowa. Call us at (515) 203-8434 and schedule a free consultation.
Circumstances That Allow Termination of Health Insurance
When an employer decides to terminate the health insurance of an employee on workers’ compensation, it is not always a matter of them not wanting to pay. There are some very valid reasons why they may be within their rights to do so.
In Iowa, the most valid reason for cutting off such benefits is that the employee has fully returned to work and, in most cases, is working the same job they did before they got injured or sick.
In other cases, the opposite may be true, for example, when the medical provider believes that there will be no further improvement in terms of the employee's health. In this case, returning to work may be out of the question, meaning the employer will have to consider other avenues rather than continue paying health insurance.
However, even though both reasons are valid, the law in Iowa requires that the employer issue a 30-day notice to the employee, stating their intentions to stop any further health insurance payments. Immediate cancellation of health benefits is unlawful and the employee can sue for such treatment.
When Termination of Health Insurance While on Workers’ Comp Is Not Justified
There are other scenarios in which no amount of notice period would ever justify the termination of an employee’s health insurance.
An example is when an employer decides to terminate one's employment simply to avoid having to pay further health benefits. The law strictly forbids firing an employee on workers' compensation as a means of retaliation.
Another common situation is when the doctor’s opinion regarding the ability of the employee to work is not shared by the employer. Even if the employer feels that the doctor’s findings are not correct, they have other legal means to solve the issue which do not involve immediate cancellation of health benefits.
How Are Such Issues Resolved in Iowa?
There is a workers’ compensation commissioner tasked to resolve such issues in Iowa, and both the employer and employee are advised to use this option to avoid potentially breaking any laws.
The process is, in many ways, similar to a court hearing, in which both parties will be asked to present evidence in support of their claims.
Having a legal council is not mandatory but, in most cases, it is a wise decision if the employee is to stand a chance of winning. The compensation laws in Iowa are complicated enough on their own before the opposing counsel tries to twist them for their own benefit. For legal counsel or answers to questions such as how much disability pays in Iowa, contact Tom Fowler Law.
The final decision will be made by the presiding administrative law judge, with either party allowed to appeal the decision at a later date.
What Can an Employee Do to Exercise Their Rights?
Despite the best intentions of both parties, disputes between an employer and its employee do arise quite often concerning health insurance benefits. In such cases, the employer is usually quick to seek legal advice, and the employee would be wise to do the same.
The following steps are important for employees to remember:
They should gather all evidence, including doctors' reports and witness statements
Employees may ask for a formal letter from the employer that states their intentions to seize health insurance benefits
They can seek legal advice and representation from experienced workers comp attorneys in Des Moines.
Tom Fowler Is Here To Help!
With years of fighting for the rights of employees in workers’ compensation and car accident disputes, Tom Fowler and his team of top-tier workers’ comp attorneys are ready to assist. For legal guidance to specific circumstances such as if Iowa is a no-fault state, schedule a free consultation.
Employees should not be bullied simply because they do not fully understand their rights, or the worker’s compensation law in Iowa, especially when help is just one call away!