Cancellation of benefits

Here is a legal question for anyone with any labor law knowledge:

Can a company legally cancel a health insurance policy for an employee for a date EARLIER than the date that the employee resigned?

Here is the background:
I was working for a US-based small cruise ship company - no union contract - on a 2 month on, one month off rotation. We were considered full-time employees with benefits. I disembarked the vessel 2/21 and resigned 3/12 before returning to the ship. The health insurance provider we used is refusing to pay for a doctor’s visit I had on 3/6 because it occurred “after my policy was terminated.” How is it possible that my policy was terminated before I even resigned my position? I want to know if it is legal for the company to have retroactively cancelled my health insurance for a date previous to the date I resigned. The company says they consider my last day worked as my last day on the boat, and therefore cancelled the policy in February. Interestingly enough, on my paystub for 3/1 - 3/15 I was charged the health insurance premium.

I would appreciate any thoughts, or if anyone knows if this is indeed common practice.


Insurance is almost always paid a month in advance. You need to go higher up they ladder than human resources.

If all else fails, lawyer up. I’ve seen this go to collections and ruin a coworkers credit report (and he never left his job, just the office being assholes).

Depends where you live, but in my state I’d be hitting up the attorney general’s office. If I got no satisfaction. Some state attorney generals will make mean Jeaux bosses cower in fear over something like this and you’ll be on your way without hearing another peep.

Especially if you have proof you paid the premium for march.

Depends on the doctors office but I’m friendly with mine and would explain the situation to them and see if they can kick the due date back a bit to buy you some time.