LAPEER, Michigan (WXYZ) – The Kaiser Family Foundation says half of Americans have their health insurance through their employer. The question arises, if you get your insurance through work, what happens if the employer does not pay the insurance bill?
Workers at a local company say there is a massive loophole in the law that puts half of all Americans at risk for financial disaster.
People working for Lapeer Industries, a defense contractor that went bankrupt in 2020, have filed a class action lawsuit in Oakland County Court. The workers suing say not only did the company tell them it would take care of the health insurance, but their insurer McLaren Health informed them they had coverage.
“Employees spoke to McLaren and were told they were covered. People are now being retroactively denied their benefits,” said Paul Matoaka, a workers’ representative attorney.
When McLaren did not receive the expected payments from its employer, it allegedly withdrew coverage. This left the workers responsible for the medical care they had already received.
“We need to close this gap,” said State Representative Tyrone Carter, (District D 6).
State Representative Carter says people should have the right to know if they have health insurance. It will examine whether the law needs to be changed to make sure you can do exactly that.
“It’s about protecting families from unnecessary burdens and hardships,” State Representative Carter said.
7 Action News reached out to McLaren Health and Lapeer Industries owners for comment, but they did not hear from them again before the deadline.
The Department of Labor says your employer is responsible for notifying you if you change your insurance coverage. The department has a team to help people who fear their employer is not offering the coverage to which they are entitled.
“People involved in private benefit plans in the workplace should contact our benefit advisors immediately for possible concerns, so that we can clarify them and help or refer them accordingly. agree, “said Scott Allen, regional director of public affairs and media for the U.S. Department of Labor. Relationships.
You can contact the Department of Labor Benefits advisers at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa [dol.gov] or at 1-866-444-3272. There is also information about your rights at askebsa.dol.gov.
The state also offers some resources for workers.
“If the employer makes a deduction from wages for health insurance and does not send it to the insurance company, the employee can file a wage claim with Wage and Hour at Michigan.gov/wageclaim. ‘amount deducted, but not any medical bills,’ said Camara Lewis, communications manager for the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunities.
Lewis says if employees are concerned about unpaid medical bills, they can contact their own attorney or the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services at https://www.michigan.gov/difs/0,5269, 7-303-12902_92612- -, 00.html.