Some companies drop health insurance, don't tell employees

Raleigh News & ObserverMarch 2, 2010 

As if having to pay higher health insurance premiums each year isn't bad enough, now workers have another worry: companies that drop their health insurance coverage and don't bother to tell employees.

It's a practice that's on the rise, says Kristin Milam with the state Department of Insurance. State law requires that companies give their workers 45 days notice if they're going to drop coverage. Milam says that employees of businesses that don't follow the law often find out their coverage has lapsed when they go to the doctor's office.

A lot of small business owners are hurting right now, and those that have managed to keep group coverage for their workers even as health costs have escalated should be commended. But I can also understand that some businesses can no longer afford to do so. I can even buy that some business owners might not understand the law, but there is such a thing as common decency. Can you imagine having a chronic illness or being pregnant, handing over your insurance card, only to have the receptionist hand it back and tell you your policy has been terminated?

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