Can an employer demand retro payments for health insurance premiums that were neither offered nor used?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer demand retro payments for health insurance premiums that were neither offered nor used?

HR claims that they can demand payments going back to date of eligibility 4 months ago, even though they never offered me health insurance. I am just now looking to get coverage through my employer, but they want me to pay retro actively for months they said I was eligible but they neglected to offer me any benefits. Is that legal?

Asked on July 18, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

IF they had covered you but failed to bill/charge/etc. you for some reason, they could recover those premiums retroactively: you can't get coverage without paying for it. But if you were not in fact covered, they have no legal basis to get money from you: they cannot take your money when you received nothing of value for it. Eligibility is irrelevant: it's where you actually had coverage which matters.

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