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Reality Check: Spousal Insurance

Updated: Wednesday, March 6 2013, 01:10 PM EST
Your spouse may be getting dumped soon, from your insurance policy that is.

Some say it's because insurance companies are facing higher costs under the new Affordable Care Act.  It outlines new fees to pay for its costs.

And as News 13's Frank Fraboni shows us, those fees are being passed on to consumers through higher premiums and less coverage.

The President was prime time, while pitching healthcare reform, "if we do not control these costs, we will not be able to control our deficit.  If we do not reform health care, your premiums and out of pocket costs will continue to skyrocket."

It was all about saving money at the doctor's office.. but now spouses are being cut out of employer's healthcare plans.  "Employers are looking for ways to save money."

Sharron Robbins of Morrow Insurance helps employers manage their benefits, benefits that are shrinking.

Sharon Robbins, Morrow Insurance, "if a spouse has access to other coverage maybe through their own employer, then that employer may say you can't be under our plan if you have access to other coverage or if you want to be under our plan you're going to pay more for that privilege."

Another promise in the President's push for Obamacare. The ability to keep what you've got, "if you like you're doctor, you can keep your doctor."

Insurance brokers say higher costs and new fees on employers are making that impossible, opting to carve out spouses to save.

"Spousal carve-outs aren't new, they've been around for a long time we have clients that use them."

Complicating the matter even more, the national media is blaming expanding coverage for adult children under the Affordable Care Act.
But that's only part of the story, a small part.

"The fees we're discussing come from the Healthcare Reform Act."
Obama care adds new fees that jump from $1 to $2 for each covered life, to $65 in 2014.

Jim Rasmussen, Morrow Insurance, "what the government's trying to do is collect 25 billion dollars through those fees over a 3 year period..
Fees to cover the cost of high risk patients and to establish a government institute to oversee medical research and patient outcomes, fees that are changing health plans.  "If you're happy with your plan, stick with it."

While spousal carve-outs are not new, 6% of large companies excluded them last year, according to the HR firm Mercer.

Some experts say as more government fees get phased in you can expect to see more benefits get phased out.Reality Check: Spousal Insurance


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