Am I responsible for back insurance premiums if I requested a cancellation request?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Am I responsible for back insurance premiums if I requested a cancellation request?

I requested a cancellation to have my wife removed from my insurance. I gave it to the

secretary at my job and she emailed it to our insurance agent. I believed it to be cancelled. It wasn’t. About 8 months later, I began to get explanation of benefits on my son’s birth. I brought it to the attention of the secretary of my job and she looked my information up and my wife was never cancelled. Now the owner says I owe him about $3,700 for back insurance premiums? Am I required to pay it or do I stand a chance fighting it in court?

Asked on April 4, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the reason why the coverage was not cancelled was an insurer error--the instructions were sent to it but it failed to cancel--they cannot charge for their error.
If the issue was that the office secretary failed to transmit the instructuons, then your employer should pay, because the costs were incurred due to their employee's negligence or carelessness. (The employer could in theory recover thw cost directly from the secretary, since she cost it money.)
If the problem was you could not cancel coverage at that time--e.g. it was not open enrollment and there had been no qualifying event--you will have to pay and could be sued if you don't.

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