Obamacare’s War On Spouses

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Just another fun fact about Obamacare:

ObamaCare is filled with grinding mandates. One of them requires that children remain covered by their parents’ health care plans until they’re 26 when their parents’ insurance “provides dependent coverage of children.”

The government calls this “protecting young adults.” But insuring children long past the day they are dependent on their parents exposes companies, which will bear the added costs of paying the inevitable higher premiums. And in some cases, the extra expense could be significant.

So at many companies, something has to go. Quite often, the rational response to rising health insurance costs is to drop spouses, more specifically wives, from insurance plans. Sometimes it’s the husbands who must go. But benefits experts have confirmed to MarketWatch that those who are kicked out of plans “tend to be women.”

Employers also have a strong incentive to drop spouses because of a “per life” fee that ObamaCare requires from companies that insure their workers. That fee is now $1 or $2 per life. But it will be substantially more — $65 — in 2014.

The trend of dumping spouses will only accelerate when the federal health exchanges are open next year, health care experts told MarketWatch.

Employers are reluctant to leave spouses without coverage, and the exchanges will give the suddenly uninsured a place to land.

But it’s unlikely the place they’ll want to be after having become accustomed to the superior coverage from their spouses’ plans.

That’s the “Affordable Care Act” for you. Making health insurance more expensive, and harder to get.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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