In a memo addressed to employees, U.P.S. said, “Limiting plan eligibility is one way to manageAnd it's not just the corporations. The public sector is also being similarly attacked:
ongoing health care costs, now and into the future, so that we can continue to provide affordable coverage for our employees.”
The memo also estimated that about 33,000 spouses were covered under its insurance plan for white-collar employees and that “about 15,000 of these would have health care coverage available through their own employers.”
In explaining its move — which was first reported by Kaiser Health News and USA Today — 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.”
Large employers like Xerox and Teva Pharmaceuticals already impose surcharges for spousal coverage. And some cities, like Terre Haute, Ind., decided to follow what many of its private corporations were doing, by adopting a “spousal carve-out” so that working spouses would not be covered under its health plans.The corporations are blaming Obamacare for these moves, but the article goes on to report that the cost is minimal and that this is just another way for the corporations to increase their profit margin.
This kind of move will really hurt working families, especially if one or both spouses are working in a low-paying part-time job. While individual coverage is obviously less than family coverage, two individual costs would far exceed the cost of a family coverage. If a person is working a low paying job, health care coverage would eat up a large part of their check. In fact, the cost might become so high that it would be more cost effective for the family if the lesser paid spouse quit his or her job.
Needless to say, the cut in income would be devastating for the family. But it would also go to further slow the economic recovery and very possibly put us back in a downward spin.