If you are used to being able to automatically add your spouse to your employer’s health insurance plan, you may need to sit down for this one. With healthcare costs climbing higher and higher and companies eyeing every dollar going into the bottom line, you can bet that employers are trying to cut every cost they can and health insurance coverage for spouses and dependnets is one big target for cost-cutting.
And if you think it’s just upping your contributions for adding dependents to your health insurance plan, think again! Employers are raising employee contributions for dependents, you may take an additional hit if your spouse can get health insurance through his or her employer, but is instead on your employer’s health insurance plan. Many employers are starting to consider any spouse who can get health insurance through their own employer ineligible to added to their health insurance plan. If you do add an ineligible spouse to your employer’s health insurance plan, your employer may charge you a penalty or surcharge.
What Does This Mean? Well, if both you and your spouse can get health insurance through your employers, you may want to break out the calculators during open enrollment this year. If the two employer-based health insurance plans are pretty similar, it’s probably a no-brainer to just have each of your join your own employer’s health insurance plan. However, if they’re not similar, you probably have some numbers to run, especially if one of the plans has much better benefits and if you or your spouse have a medical condition that may need additional medical care. In that case, we’d really suggest that you take a look and see if the additional costs and penalties/surcharges to add your spouse to your heatlh insurance plan might be worth it.
Is your employer charging a penalty to add a spouse to your health insurance plan? Tell us about it!
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