Magazine article HRMagazine

Spousal-Coverage Shifts: What Goes around Comes Around

Magazine article HRMagazine

Spousal-Coverage Shifts: What Goes around Comes Around

Article excerpt

Companies looking to pare health costs by requiring working spouses to get health insurance through their own employer may find themselves gaining participants as other companies do the same, according to a study by the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires organizations with 50 or more full-time equivalent workers to provide health coverage to full-timers and their dependent children until they reach age 26. It does not, however, require employers to provide coverage to spouses, whether or not they are eligible for other health insurance.

"While 'first mover' firms may save money in the short run by eliminating working spouses from their plan, they may in time gain the responsibility for covering employees who were previously covered as a spouse under another plan," explained report author Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI's health research and education program. …

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