KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

UVA, UPS To Stop Health Benefits For Some Workers’ Spouses

The university cited costs. Meanwhile, other news organizations followed Kaiser Health News' UPS story.

The Hill: University of Virginia Cuts Some Health Benefits, Citing ObamaCare Costs
The University of Virginia said Wednesday that it will stop offering health insurance to some employees' spouses because of rising costs under ObamaCare. The university said the Affordable Care Act will add $7.3 million to its healthcare costs next year. It indicated that it could face additional costs in the future because of the law's tax on especially generous insurance policies (Baker, 8/21).

The New York Times: U.P.S. To End Health Benefits For Spouses Of Some Workers
United Parcel Service has told its white-collar employees that it will stop providing health care coverage to their spouses who can obtain coverage through their own employers, joining an increasing number of companies that are restricting or eliminating spousal health benefits. … U.P.S. told employees, "Since the Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide affordable coverage, we believe your spouse should be covered by their own employer — just as U.P.S. has a responsibility to offer coverage to you, our employee" (Greenhouse, 8/21).

The Wall Street Journal: UPS To End Health Benefits For Some Working Spouses Of Employees
The Atlanta-based package delivery giant said in an internal memo to employees last month that rising costs for coverage of chronic and other health conditions, "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." The change will affect about 15,000 spouses, UPS said—slightly fewer than half of the 33,000 spouses who are covered today under its health plan for nonunionized workers (Martin, Morris and Thurm, 8/21).

Bloomberg: UPS Ending Health Coverage For Spouses Signals Cost Cuts
The shift is a sign of corporate America’s increasing willingness to make deep changes to benefits once taken as a given by U.S. workers. The health-care overhaul, estimated to boost expenses for businesses by 2 percent to 4 percent next year, is adding to the momentum that already spurred higher deductibles and surcharges for covering dependents (Nussbaum and Credeur, 8/22).

Fox News: Employers Dropping Coverage For Thousands Of Spouses Over ObamaCare Costs
Republican lawmakers are raising new concerns about ObamaCare after several large employers announced they are dropping health coverage for some employee spouses due to rising costs under the new law. Both the University of Virginia and UPS told their employees recently they are no longer offering spousal coverage to those able to obtain insurance elsewhere; meaning thousands of Americans will no longer be able to choose the benefits they prefer (8/21).

Earlier KHN coverage: UPS Won't Insure Spouses Of Some Employees (Hancock, 8/21).

 

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