More Employers Demand Workers Prove Dependents Are Eligible For CoverageThe Washington Post reports that some employers are pushing ineligible dependents out of health insurance plans. "Call it a sign of the times: A growing number of area employers, including the Commonwealth of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University and the Navy Federal Credit Union, are cracking down on workers who enroll ex-spouses, over-age children, grandchildren and others not entitled to coverage under their health plan. It's a cost-control strategy that Ford, AT&T and other Fortune 500 companies have used for years."
According to a survey by Watson Wyatt, a benefits consultancy, more than 60 percent of large U.S. companies this year conducted "dependent eligibility audits." That's compared with fewer than half of U.S. companies last year. "Asking married policyholders to show their marriage license is a routine part of the audit, although some employers also ask to see a joint tax return or utility bill to be sure that a couple hasn't divorced. Birth certificates are also demanded to ensure a child hasn't aged out of the plan, although additional proof, such as a tuition receipt, may be required when age limits are extended for full-time students" (Zeidner, 10/13). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.