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Cutting Spousal Benefits Might Not Save Firms Money After All

(Shots, NPR) Some companies are simply charging more for spouses who work and are eligible for coverage at their own job. Others, like UPS, are dropping spousal coverage entirely.
But a new study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute suggests that dropping spousal coverage might not be such a money-saver after all. That's because other companies are likely to do the same thing, thus driving every worker back to his or her own company's health plan.
"While 'first-mover' firms may save money in the short run by eliminating working spouses from their plan, they may in time gain the responsibility for covering employees who were previously covered as a spouse under another plan, now left without that coverage by the employers implementing the same strategy," said the study, by economists Paul Fronstin and M. Christopher Roebuck.
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