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Maintenance of Health Benefits During FMLA Leave

The taking of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit accrued before the leave began.

  • During any FMLA leave, an employer must maintain the employee's coverage under any group health plan under the same terms and conditions as would have been provided if the employee had not taken leave. For example, if family member coverage is provided to an employee, family member coverage must be maintained during the FMLA leave.
  • If an employer provides a new health plan or benefits or changes a health plan or benefits while an employee is on FMLA leave, the employee is entitled to the new or changed plan or benefits to the same extent as if the employee were not on leave.
  • An employee who chooses not to retain group health plan coverage during FMLA leave is entitled, upon return from leave, to be reinstated on the same terms as before the leave without any qualifying period, physical examination, exclusion of pre-existing conditions, etc.

Payment of Premiums While on FMLA Leave

Any share of group health plan premiums that had been paid by the employee prior to FMLA leave must continue to be paid by the employee during the FMLA leave period. If premiums are raised or lowered, the employee would be required to pay the new premium rates.

Employees on Unpaid Leave

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