Can I keep my insurance if take leave under FMLA?

The Family Medical Leave Act provides employees with several protections while allowing them to take unpaid leave for certain family situations. Employees may be allowed to take leave for the birth of a child, adoption, or to care for an ailing relative. However, if you are about to take leave under FMLA, you may be concerned about how it will affect your benefits, particularly your insurance coverage. So, how does taking leave affect insurance coverage?

If your insurance coverage is part of a group health insurance plan, then you can keep your coverage during your unpaid leave. Provided you continue to make your expected contribution, your coverage will not change. The same is true if you have a family member covered under the insurance. An employer may also opt to pay your premium while you are on leave to maintain your coverage upon your return, but your employer may then ask for you to reimburse them for those costs.

If you are given paid leave instead of FMLA leave, then you will likely be required to continue to pay your insurance premium. Failure to do so could result in your coverage being dropped. Therefore, it is important that you understand which route your employer intends to take so that you can uphold your end and maintain your coverage.

If you take maternity leave, or leave for any other allowable reason under the FMLA, and are denied your insurance benefits, then you may want to speak to an employment law attorney. A Louisiana lawyer experienced at handling FMLA cases may be able to help you address the situation and reach an outcome that is fair given the circumstances.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "Employee Protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act," accessed on May 29, 2015

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