United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) to End Health Insurance Coverage for Spouses of Some Employees

In explaining the change to employees, UPS cited a survey by consultant Towers Watson. That firm surveyed 583 employers and reported growing interest in reducing coverage for working spouses. It said 4% already exclude spouses who can get coverage through their own employer and another 8% plan that in 2014. Many more — 20% now and rising to 33% next year — impose a surcharge for covering that same working spouse.

Andy McGowan, a United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) spokesman, said the change was part of the company’s effort to keep health-insurance premiums at or below current levels for a “significant” number of employees. He said the company’s premiums have risen sharply in recent years.

UPS told employees that spouses will no longer be eligible for physical and mental health benefits and prescription-drug coverage. “However, you may enroll her in dental, vision and supplemental benefits such as life insurance” even if the spouse’s employer provides those, UPS told workers. It added that spouses eligible for Medicare won’t be excluded from coverage.

The change also won’t affect UPS‘ union workers, many of them represented by the Teamsters. Their health benefits are spelled out in labor contracts.

The new policy will produce one benefit for the nonunion employees: Those whose spouses lose UPS coverage will see their share of their insurance decline. The company said it could be almost $1,600 for some workers.

The United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) change was first reported by Kaiser Health News and USATODAY.

The article UPS to End Health Insurance Coverage for Spouses of Some Employees originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Associated Press.

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