Thursday, August 22, 2013

Companies Cutting Spousal Health Benefits To Offset Obamacare's Added Business Costs

From Bloomberg, "UPS Ending Health Coverage for Spouses Signals Cost Cuts" by Alex Nussbaum & Mary Jane Credeur:
The nation’s fourth-largest employer [United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS)] said yesterday that it will no longer offer health coverage beginning Jan. 1 to spouses who can get it though another company. UPS cited the 2010 health-care law as part of its thinking, saying it would increase costs and provide other insurance options for spouses.

The shift is a sign of corporate America’s increasing willingness to make deep changes to benefits once taken as a given by workers. The health-care overhaul, estimated to boost business expenses by 2 percent to 4 percent next year, is adding to the momentum that has already spurred higher deductibles and surcharges for covering dependents.
While it makes economic sense for UPS not to offer health insurance to a spouse of a worker, if the spouse can obtain insurance from their own employer. The spouse may see an increase in the cost of their health insurance coverage if their employer's benefits are more expensive, have higher deductibles, etc.

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