Health care benefits available through your employer help to protect you and your family while defraying the high costs of medical treatment. However, not all employers are required to provide health insurance, and even when benefits are available, they may not be offered to all workers. If you are being denied health care benefits on the job, it could be a case of healthcare discrimination. Find out more about this common problem and your rights in this situation.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to provide health care benefits to a certain percentage of their employees. While some interpret this as a way of guaranteeing health care benefits, the fact is that individual employees or even groups of workers at a company may find themselves excluded from coverage.
While the ACA does not give an individual employee the right to demand health care benefits, there are rules that prevent them from being unfairly discriminated against. In June 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized a rule under the ACA that prohibits employers from discriminating against workers and denying health care coverage based on any of the following reasons:
Employers are also prohibited by civil rights laws from denying health care coverage to employees based on health status factors, such as chronic illnesses or pre-existing conditions. They are also prohibited from offering less coverage to people with mental health issues and substance abuse disorders or favoring highly compensated workers with a better quality of benefits.
There are numerous civil rights laws preventing employers from engaging in health care discrimination, all of which are incorporated under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. A complex federal law, ERISA provides guidelines for how employee benefit programs are administered and procedures for handling denied benefits. If you are a victim of health care discrimination, you may be entitled to file a claim forcing your employer to provide coverage. You may also be entitled to reimbursement of attorney fees and other costs you incur while defending your rights to benefits.
If you have been denied health care coverage by your employer and suspect discrimination, reach out to Bartolic Law right away. We protect your rights and help you get the benefits you deserve. Call or contact our Chicago ERISA attorney today.