It seems like every week there’s something new to report on the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act -- and it’s never good news.
Here’s the latest: United Parcel Service Inc. will drop roughly 15,000 spouses from its insurance plan because “they are eligible for coverage elsewhere,” the American City Business Journals reported.
And according to Kaiser Health News, the Atlanta-based company cited President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law as the reason for the change.
Companies have recently tried to downplay their worries over the full implementation of Obamacare, but UPS isn’t one of those companies. In fact, as Kaiser noted, the logistics company has no problem pointing fingers at the new healthcare law.
Rising medical costs, “combined with the costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, have made it increasingly difficult to continue providing the same level of health care benefits to our employees at an affordable cost,” UPS said in a memo to employees.
UPS told employees in June that roughly 15,000 working spouses eligible for coverage would be axed from the company’s plan in 2014.
The move will only apply to non-union U.S. workers. It is also expected to save the company roughly $60 million annually, according to company spokesman Andy McGowan.
Obamacare only requires that employers cover employees and dependent children. There’s nothing in the law that stipulates that employers must cover employee spouses or “domestic partners.”
The White House responded to the UPS news by claiming employer coverage increased when Massachusetts drafted and implemented its own health care bill.
"The health care law will make health insurance more affordable, strengthen small businesses and make it easier for employers to provide coverage to their workers," said Joanne Peters, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
UPS is the latest in a series of companies that are scrambling to prepare for the implementation of the health care law. Clothing outlet Forever 21 announced earlier this week that it would limit non-management employees’ hours to 29.5 per week, a shade below the 30-hour minimum Obamacare recognizes as full-time.
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