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Why your boss is dumping your wife
Old 02-22-2013, 10:29 AM   #1
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Why your boss is dumping your wife

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By denying coverage to spouses, employers not only save the annual premiums, but also the new fees that went into effect as part of the Affordable Care Act. This year, companies have to pay $1 or $2 “per life” covered on their plans, a sum that jumps to $65 in 2014.


Why your boss is dumping your wife - MarketWatch
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:54 AM   #2
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Yeah, this a fear of mine as I am covered under DH's healthcare plan. He's a low wage earner so I have a bigger fear that his employer may completely drop coverage. I have full freight Obamacare premiums plus 7k for OOP costs in my budget. I'm hoping that I really dont end up paying all that.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:13 PM   #3
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My previous Megacorp made the stipulation that working spouses of employees had to enroll in their employers HC plans in the early 90's, and many others have too. Obviously it did not apply where the spouse was not employed, or employed by a firm without HC - but you couldn't choose based on which was cheaper where both spouses had HC available from their respective employers.

And while it's inconvenient and unfortunate, it's understandable. It was easier to see on the local level, where small employers a) made sure their plans were more expensive to employees than other employers in town (to induce them to use the other employers HC), b) having no health care (to induce them to use other employers HC), or c) flat out asking employees to enroll on their spouses plans. Companies had to do something to avoid bearing more than their share of HC costs, it puts them at a competitive disadvantage.

If there's a "fairer" approach, what would it be? I'm amazed that any companies don't do this to control their costs...
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:23 PM   #4
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If there's a "fairer" approach, what would it be? I'm amazed that any companies don't do this to control their costs...
Healthcare and employment have nothing in common, and as long as one depends upon the other, inequitable outcomes will always be one result. The sooner the two are totally separate, the better, and also the easier it will be to reform healthcare.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:57 PM   #5
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Healthcare and employment have nothing in common, and as long as one depends upon the other, inequitable outcomes will always be one result. The sooner the two are totally separate, the better, and also the easier it will be to reform healthcare.
Amen to that.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:08 PM   #6
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Healthcare and employment have nothing in common, and as long as one depends upon the other, inequitable outcomes will always be one result. The sooner the two are totally separate, the better, and also the easier it will be to reform healthcare.
+1M
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:19 PM   #7
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Healthcare and employment have nothing in common, and as long as one depends upon the other, inequitable outcomes will always be one result. The sooner the two are totally separate, the better, and also the easier it will be to reform healthcare.
+1002, no argument there...
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:39 PM   #8
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And so it begins.........
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:13 PM   #9
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Mega corp pays $80/mo to induce employees to use a spouse's coverage. I believe their annual cost/employee is something like $15k and I am surprised they have not offered a more attractive offset.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:28 PM   #10
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Actually if you think about it paying a higher amount for family health care coverage for a worker than if he is single by a company does not really coincide with any reasonable definition of an employees worth. It is rather a company subsidy encouraging some behaviors such as having children. I see companies moving to saying that if you want to cover a spouse your contribution towards health insurance increases.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:06 AM   #11
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Compassion,new normal.Uh,God bless america,uh.
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:49 AM   #12
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I remember a time when American business favored the family man (and back then, they were surely and utterly favoring the 'man'). Now, American business is much more aiming to attract and utilize the young, single firecracker, and when he (because even today, there is still an advantage to being a man) burns out or settles down, turn favor to the next young, single firecracker. There are still some employers, I'm sure, who care about the employees that drive the engine that causes the business to prosper, but increasingly employees are simply going to be viewed as unreliable and costly resources, to be exploited when possible, used otherwise, and discarded when a better supplier of the resource is available. I see the whole labor market becoming like one big Kleenex box.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:30 AM   #13
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So add $65 to the employee's portion to pay for spousal coverage?
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:38 AM   #14
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I see companies moving to saying that if you want to cover a spouse your contribution towards health insurance increases.
I may misunderstand your view, every company I worked for had several rates. Used to be single or family. By the time I retired there were three, single, single+one, and family (3 or more).
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:44 AM   #15
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..... I have full freight Obamacare premiums plus 7k for OOP costs in my budget. I'm hoping that I really dont end up paying all that.
Prob very wise planning. Always prudent to OVER- vs under-budget critical items.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:00 AM   #16
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I retired from the Federal government and I had the family plan, even though it was just my DH and me. Your only choice is single or family. My friend and her DH are both Federal retirees and they both chose the single policy, since 2 singles are cheaper than the family. I have recently added my 24 year old daughter back on my plan. She was without health insurance when her DH's ended his 6 year Navy obligation. He is doing contractor IT work for a museum in CA and works from home. He is without health insurance now and he is checking into a program to get it through the VA since he was in Afghanistan while serving and he is low income.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:10 AM   #17
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Forgot to say, that I work 3 days per week at a doctor's office. There are 4 employees plus the doctor. The office manager works 4 days per week and the other office employees work 3 days per week. We are not offered any health insurance. My friend and I are both Fed retirees and have our own health insurance and the other 2 are covered under their DH's health insurance plan.

The office manager was talking to a patient who works at a dental office and they were saying they did not know what small businesses were going to do because of the new health care act. The person working at the dental office was saying her employer was going to cut back employees hours, so that they would not have to cover them. I mentioned how ironic it was that when patient's come to see our doctor, we expect them to have health insurance or to be able to pay themselves. The majority of our patients are elderly and are on Medicare. If they did not have the health insurance, many if not most of our patients would not be able to see the doctor. Their conversation regarding health insurance ended quickly.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:32 AM   #18
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Actually if you think about it paying a higher amount for family health care coverage for a worker than if he is single by a company does not really coincide with any reasonable definition of an employees worth. It is rather a company subsidy encouraging some behaviors such as having children. I see companies moving to saying that if you want to cover a spouse your contribution towards health insurance increases.
Good point. If everyone bought their own health insurance, it would be pretty crazy to pay one employee considerably more than another just because that employee had a big family.

Ironically, when I was growing up, my mother was paid less than a man's wage as a school teacher because women didn't "need" the money.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:02 AM   #19
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Healthcare and employment have nothing in common, and as long as one depends upon the other, inequitable outcomes will always be one result. The sooner the two are totally separate, the better, and also the easier it will be to reform healthcare.
Healthcare, and retirement savings. Where you work should not be the deciding factor for where you get your health care and where/how you save for retirement. A majority of companies quickly threw their original employee retirement strategies (pensions) under the bus, and I suspect that it will be the same with healthcare.

Why should affordable health coverage availability, and the quality of your healthcare be dependent on your employer. Currently, buying individual or family coverage on the open market suffers due to a large percentage of the population being on some form of work related group policy. I had one employer start charging me more money for covering my wife than an married guy (or single head of household) with a family when they changed providers. Our ages (mid 50s) was the discriminating factor, but the bracket was labeled employee and spouse only. I bought her a better individual policy at less money (and this was a fairly large company).

We retired early and purchase individual health insurance policies. If you haven't had the pleasure of doing this, I can tell you the guys that cover you in a group can really turn on you when you go to purchase. We're not talking just money here....
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:17 AM   #20
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Ironically, when I was growing up, my mother was paid less than a man's wage as a school teacher because women didn't "need" the money.
Now you are making me feel old! Back in the 1960's, I was put in charge of an office and eventually a typist was hired as my assistant. Despite the fact that the typist was brand new, he earned twice what I was earning, plus, he was a hunt-and-peck typist whereas my typing was decent so I was doing a lot of his job. When I mentioned the wage disparity to my boss, he told me that the typist was a man and needed the money. The typist was single, as I was, so that didn't make much sense to me but back in those days that sort of weirdness was still not that uncommon.
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