5. Does an employer have to pay for health insurance for an employee on WC leave?
If the employee qualifies for FMLA leave and the employer normally pays for health insurance, the answer is yes. Although most state WC laws do not require employers to pay for health insurance during a WC leave, the FMLA requires the continuation of health insurance benefits during an FMLA leave
. Typically, the state WC laws cover the employee’s medical costs related to the work injury but do not mandate continued coverage under, or payment for, a health insurance plan. However, under the FMLA, employers must provide the same health benefits during an eligible employee’s FMLA leave that it would have provided if the employee worked throughout the leave. Thus, if the employer normally pays 80% of an employee’s health benefits premium, it must continue to do so during the employee’s FMLA/WC leave.