What grounds does the company legally have to make me pay for a paymenterror on their part?

UPDATED: Jul 27, 2011

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What grounds does the company legally have to make me pay for a paymenterror on their part?

A health equity account was opened for me when I signed up for health insurance through the company. When I switched plans a year later, apparently this health equity account should have ended with no further contributions. However the contibutions continued. Now, a year later, the company is claiming I need to re-pay this money from the mistake they made. $1400 for something I had no control over.

Asked on July 27, 2011 Utah


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The health insurance company is seeking reimbursement from you of the $1,400 it mistakenly paid you under a theory called "unjust enrichment". It is an equitable theory that holds that even though it made a mistake in paying you the money, there was no intended gift to you of it and you gave nothing of value to the health insurance company to receive the $1,400.

As such, it is unfair and inequitbale for you to receive the benefit of its mistake.

Did you realize that when you were paid the $1,400 that the payment to you was done in error? If so, you should have advised the health insurance company of the overpayment and returned the money.

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