Visitor Question

Discrimination based on age?

Submitted By: Sarah (Eugene, OR)

My husband is trying to get a new PCP. He has insurance through our place of work, Regence Blue Cross, and is 60 years old. He doesn’t plan to retire in the next 5 years, but is being told by the PCP (where he is trying to get into) that they won’t take him as a new patient because of his age and because he might have Medicare in the next 5 years.

Is this legal? Smacks of ageism, to us. Would this be considered discrimination based on age? Thanks for any information you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Sarah,

The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 prohibits an employer from denying health insurance benefits to older employees because of their age. This also applies to benefits such as life insurance, pensions, and retirement benefits.

Unfortunately, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act does not apply to health insurance companies themselves.

If though, your husband’s denial of health insurance was precipitated by a request through his employer for those benefits, then he has a legitimate claim against his employer under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: February 2, 2015

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