We’ve blogged multiple times about the proposed “young invincible” policies. This article from a New York Times blog looks again at the issue, and also draws the connection between the proposed young invincible policies and the recent passage of Michelle’s Law:
Congress has tried to deal with this conundrum before. Michelle’s Law, passed last year and effective last week, allows college students to take up to 12 months of medical leave from school without being dropped from a parent’s health insurance plan.
For more on Michelle’s Law, check out this recent Milliman white paper.
A new article from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance looks at a number of ways employers are trying to minimize the growing cost of employee health coverage. A shift in dependent cost-sharing is one such method:
Higher premiums for dependents. Most employers still pay the bulk of health-insurance costs for their employees — on average, about 80% of the premium, says Ron Cornwell, a consulting actuary with Milliman, a benefits consulting firm. But employers have gradually been scaling back subsidies for employees’ family members. They now pay an average of just 67% of a family premium, leaving you to pick up the remaining 33%, says Cornwell.
What you can do. It may still be cost-effective for you to remain on your employer’s policy. But investigate other options for your family. If your spouse has health coverage at work, compare the cost of keeping family members on your policy with the cost of shifting them to your spouse’s plan. Also look into how much it would cost to buy an independent policy for your spouse and children. If they are relatively healthy and you live in a state with a competitive health-insurance marketplace (most states other than New York and New Jersey), that might be your best bet.
The cost-share topic is one of several key themes with regard to dependent coverage. Employers also now face new responsibilities due to the passage of “Michelle’s Law”; many employers are also pursuing dependent eligibility audits (see section 5).