Employers Scrutinize Dependents For Health Coverage
News outlets report on employer health care costs.
The Wall Street Journal: "More employers are scrutinizing employees' health-insurance dependents in order to weed out ineligible beneficiaries" in an effort to cut costs. "Benefits-consulting companies say interest in dependent audits has been growing for the past few years, but has ticked up more recently. These companies aim to verify the relationships of dependents such as spouses and children, soliciting documents including marriage and birth certificates. In many cases, employers haven't previously asked employees to verify dependents' eligibility" (Mattioli, 11/22).
The Washington Post: "The cost to employers of providing health benefits soared 6.9 percent on average this year, according to a national survey released last week, an increase some experts say was driven by the growing use of expensive imaging devices in hospitals and an expanding population of aging and obese patients suffering from chronic conditions. The survey of 2,800 employers at large and small firms across the country [which was conducted by the Mercer consulting firm] shows that the cost of medical coverage this year experienced its highest annual jump in six years" (Haynes, 11/22).