During FMLA leave, an employer must maintain the employee’s coverage under any group health plan with the same coverage conditions as if the employee had been continuously employed during the FMLA leave period. If the employer requires active employees to pay premium payments, then the same requirement applies to the employee on FMLA leave. Employees on FMLA leave must have a minimum 30-day grace period in which to make premium payments. If the employee does not make timely payments after this grace period, then the group health insurance may be suspended provided the employer notifies the employee in writing at least 15 days before the date the health coverage will lapse. Employers may also choose to pay an employee’s share of the premiums during FMLA leave and recover those payments when the employee returns to work. When the employee returns to work, the health coverage may be reinstated.
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