United Parcel Service has told its white-collar employees that it will stop providing health care coverage to their spouses who can obtain coverage through their own employers, joining an increasing number of companies that are restricting or eliminating spousal health benefits.
U.P.S., the world’s largest package delivery company, said its decision was prompted in part by “costs associated with” the federal health care law that is commonly called Obamacare. Several health care experts, however, said they believed the company was motivated by a desire to hold down health care costs, rather than because of cost increases under the law.
In a memo addressed to employees, U.P.S. said, “Limiting plan eligibility is one way to manage ongoing health care costs, now and into the future, so that we can continue to provide affordable coverage for our employees.”
The memo also estimated that about 33,000 spouses were covered under its insurance plan for white-collar employees and that “about 15,000 of these would have health care coverage available through their own employers.”
Expect Obamacare advocates to focus their rage on the fact that UPS is behaving like a rational economic actor given the details of the Affordable Care Act. Details we had to pass the bill to learn about, according to Nancy Pelosi.
Say goodbye to high-deductible plans as well. As Walter Russell Mead points out, the elimination of high-deductible plans--and not the impending implementation of Obamacare--is the reason why health care premiums aren't spiking as much as they used to. As Mead also points out, certain people should not opt for high-deductible plans. But younger workers love them and will likely miss them. They too were assured during the health care debate that if they liked their health care coverage, they could keep it. And they too victims of the Obama administration's broken promises.