What You Should Know About Employee Health Coverage? Do you have employee health coverage where you currently work? If not, then ask your employer or supervisor what type of health plan and benefits are available for you in the workplace. A group health plan is a type of welfare benefit plan for employees which are established by an employer or by an employee organization (sometimes both). These provide medical care for all members as well as their dependents. Benefits may be availed through insurance, reimbursement or otherwise. This type of health plan is similar to individual health coverage plans but has fewer benefits and is usually covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) instead of individual employees paying for their premiums. ERISA also provides protection for its members and their respective beneficiaries provided members meet certain standards of conduct which are specified in the law. The administrative body that is responsible for the ERISA is The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). Together with administering this employee benefit program, this agency is also responsible for consumer education on the various health plans available for them and compliance for employers and various plan service providers to assist them in complying with ERISA. So what about your own employee health benefits? It’s best to seek information from your supervisor, managers or from the owner himself regarding the specific plan or coverage that is intended for you. You may also ask members or officers of the employee union in your workplace for more details. It is said that in 2011, one out of four working age Americans went without health insurance at some point in the year. Most of these were because of unemployment and because of significant job changes; some also went without any type of insurance simply because plan packages were unaffordable. Having no health insurance would mean not being treated for illness, avoiding doctors visits, not being screened or diagnosed for illnesses and even total disconnection from the health care system. It is thus important to seek your employee health plan or benefit you are entitled to; raising active awareness in the workplace will help employees improve their education on the various health access that they can take advantage of. Take time to talk to your supervisor regarding health benefits and if you don’t have this coverage on your employee job contract, isn’t it about time to have one?