The Obamacare Chronicles: Like your family’s insurance? Suckers!

**Posted by Phineas

"Quack medicine"
“Quack medicine”

Great news! Because Obamacare imposes higher costs on employers, but doesn’t require employers to cover spouses, more and more companies are dropping spousal coverage:

A growing number of companies are looking to clamp down on rising health care costs by dumping coverage for their employees’ working spouses.

Others are requiring their workers to pay extra money to cover a spouse who could get health insurance elsewhere. And some may even consider making employees pay the full cost of insuring their children.

The moves are viewed as low-hanging fruit for companies that are expecting higher costs next year under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“We’re seeing costs going up,” said J.T. Shilling, a benefits consultant who runs the Pittsburgh office of consulting firm Mercer. “Taxes, fees, more enrollment are driving up costs, and employers are looking for ways to reduce costs. And this is a pretty easy one.”

The higher charges and exclusions for spouses are part of a national trend that’s hitting home in Western Pennsylvania.

Or, if you’re “lucky,” they’ll only impose a surcharge.

Again, the companies are acting rationally in the face of an irrational law: since Obamacare vastly increases costs for the employer, it makes sense to drop spousal coverage when that spouse has coverage through his or her employer, even if it’s not as good as what the first company is offering.  But, you know, Obamacare is for the children, and therefore everything is okay.

Oh, wait:

Although the law requires plans to cover children, it allows companies to pass along the full cost of so-called dependent coverage to the employee, McTiernan said.

“Some employers were in fact contemplating” whether to make workers pay for their children, he said. “It’s one way to mitigate the cost.”

Nice. They’ll give you the required coverage, perhaps more than you need, and then stick you for the full cost — thanks to Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

Remember that when election day rolls around.

Via Jim Geraghty, who asks a darned fine question:

Why does most of the media coverage suggest that Republicans are crazy for wanting to repeal this legislative monstrosity, and the Democrats are sane for wanting to keep it in place?

Because most of them are toe-kissing heralds for their Sun King, Obama? Just a guess.

BTW, Jim, it’s “anti-constitutional monstrosity.” Let’s keep our terms straight, okay? ;)

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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