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Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

What About My Employer Benefits While On FMLA Leave?

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This discussion is divided into health insurance and other benefits.

Health Insurance

During your FMLA leave period, your employer is required to maintain your health insurance benefits and to pay the portion of the premium that the employer normally pays.

Your employer is also entitled to collect the portion of the premiums that you would normally contribute while actively at work. For example, if your employer deducts $20 per week from your pay as your contribution to the health insurance premium, you can be required to submit the same $20 per week while you are on leave. Or your employer may decide to make that payment for you and deduct a greater amount upon your return to work to make up for the additional payment.

If your employer provides health insurance for employees at no cost during other types of paid or unpaid leave, the employer would be required to do the same during an FMLA leave of absence. For example, if an employer maintains health insurance during a 30 day leave of absence at no cost to the employee, the employer would be required to maintain your health insurance at no cost to you during the first 30 days of your FMLA leave. Beyond that, your employer could then require your contribution.

Whatever arrangements are made for the continuation of your health insurance, it is important that you follow them to the letter.

Other Benefits Such As Life Insurance, Dental Insurance

There is no requirement for your employer to maintain any of your benefits other than health insurance during an FMLA leave of absence, unless your employer provides a continuation of benefits for other types of paid or unpaid leave.  In other words, the employer may not change established procedure because you are taking leave under the FMLA as opposed to another type of "leave of absence" that may be provided by the employer.

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