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UPS Cuts Back on Health Coverage for Spouses Due to Obamacare

UPS to eliminate employee spouse health care coverage
(UPS Facebook page)

Another major company is moving away from offering health care to employee spouses because of the Affordable Care Act.

Also known as Obamacare, the law requires companies with 50 or more employees to offer health insurance — including children. The law does not require coverage for spouses, so this autumn the United Parcel Service (UPS) plans to terminate that portion of its insurance.

Towers Watson, a major consulting firm, reports about 4 percent of large employers excluded spouses who had coverage in their own workplace, and 8 percent more plan to implement such a plan this year.

Kaiser Health News says UPS is one of a number of companies that came to them and asked to explore an employee-spouse provision. The move will affect some 15,000 UPS workers, and save the company about $60 million a year.

These working spouses — who have their own job — will have a tough time finding a comparable plan because the UPS health care plan is one of the more generous in the country, Kaiser reported. This would eventually filter down to UPS employees who work in the Tri-Cities.

Not only is Obamacare affecting plans within companies small and large, Newsmax also reports its impacting the hiring practices of many firms:

Executives at several staffing firms told Reuters that Obamacare, which requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to provide health care coverage or incur penalties, was often cited in requests by their corporate customers for part-time workers. And the decision to delay the mandate until 2015 has made little difference in hiring decisions.

“[We] and other people are hiring part-time because we don’t know what the costs are going to be to hire full-time,” said Steven Raz, founder of Cornerstone Search Group, an employment firm in Parsippany, N.J. “We are being cautious.”

Three out of four of the nearly 1 million job hires in the United States this year have been part-time and many of the positions are low wage, Reuters reported.


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