What happens to my health insurance and other benefits while I'm out?
Apart from the anti-discrimination provisions of § 75B of the workers' compensation law, there are no clear rules under the law preventing employers from stopping all benefits while a worker is collecting workers' compensation.
But, Massachusetts General Law c. 175, § 110D, says that in most cases coverage will continue for 31 days following a termination, and Massachusetts General Law c. 175, § 110G requires most employers to offer continued coverage under the medical plan for an additional 39 weeks (as long as the employee doesn't become eligible for another plan); the employee can be required to pay the entire (group rate) premium. Surviving spouses are also afforded the same coverage.
Under applicable federal law (COBRA Public Law 99-272), some employers are required to offer a continuation of whatever health plan the employee had prior to the termination or reduction in hours. This continuation period is usually 18 months; in some cases it's 3 years. During this continuation period an employer can charge the employee the group rate plus 2%, for coverage.
If you have any questions about what health care benefits, if any, your employer is required to offer you, contact your employer's Health Plan Administrator. If you can't afford the coverage offered by your employer, you should contact MassHealth, (888) 665-9993. To get more information on the Federal COBRA law, call the US Department of Labor, (617) 565-9600.