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Friday, August 23, 2013

UPS Won’t Insure Spouses Of Some Employees

Today's post was shared by WCBlog and comes from www.kaiserhealthnews.org

Partly blaming the health law, United Parcel Service is set to remove thousands of spouses from its medical plan because they are eligible for coverage elsewhere.

Many analysts downplay the Affordable Care Act’s effect on companies such as UPS, noting that the move is part of a long-term trend of shrinking corporate medical benefits. But the shipping giant repeatedly cites the act to explain the decision, adding fuel to the debate over whether the law erodes traditional employer coverage.

Rising medical costs, “combined with the costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, have made it increasingly difficult to continue providing the same level of health care benefits to our employees at an affordable cost,” UPS said in a memo to employees.

The company told white-collar workers two months ago that 15,000 working spouses eligible for coverage at their own employers would be excluded from the UPS plan in 2014. The Fortune 100 firm expects the move, which applies to non-union U.S. workers only, to save about $60 million a year, said company spokesman Andy McGowan.

UPS becomes one of the highest-profile employers yet to bar working spouses from the company plan. Many firms already require employees to pay a surcharge for working-spouse medical coverage, but some are taking the next step by declining to include them at all, consultants say.

“They are simply saying to the spouse outright, ‘If you have coverage somewhere else you are not eligible...

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