UPS to drop 15,000 spouses from insurance, cites Obamacare
Carla Caldwell Atlanta Business Chronicle Aug 21, 2013
United Parcel Service Inc. plans to remove thousands of spouses from its medical plan because they are eligible for coverage elsewhere. The Atlanta-based logistics company points to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, as a big reason for the decision, reports Kaiser Health News.
The decision comes as many analysts are downplaying the Affordable Care Act's effect on companies such as UPS, noting that the move reflects a long-term trend of shrinking corporate medical benefits, Kaiser Health News reports. But UPS repeatedly cites Obamacare to explain the decision, adding fuel to the debate over whether it erodes traditional employer coverage, Kaiser says.
Rising medical costs, “combined with the costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, have made it increasingly difficult to continue providing the same level of health care benefits to our employees at an affordable cost,” UPS said in a memo to employees.
According to Kaiser, UPS (NYSE: UPS) told white-collar workers two months ago that 15,000 working spouses eligible for coverage by their own employers would be excluded from the UPS plan in 2014.
UPS expects the move, which applies to non-union U.S. workers only, to save about $60 million a year, company spokesman Andy McGowan said.
The health law requires large employers to cover employees and dependent children, but not spouses or domestic partners, Kaiser adds.
Kaiser said the Obama administration would not respond directly to UPS' statements, but said that employer coverage increased when Massachusetts implemented its own version of the health overhaul.
"The health care law will make health insurance more affordable, strengthen small businesses and make it easier for employers to provide coverage to their workers," said Joanne Peters, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Earlier this week, Forever 21 Inc. became the latest national company to cut employee hours to counter the impact of Obamacare, according to Policymic.com.
Atlanta-based AAA Parking, a parking garage operator that employs more than 1,600 companywide, moved about half of its 500 full-time hourly employees to part-time status on April 15, in response to the law.
I, too, will be taken from full-time to part-time in response to the ACA. Thanks, Obama! I didn't need that extra 100 bucks on my paycheck anyway.
What amazes me is how many didn't see this coming. People were warned when this bill was passed. But I guess that it doesn't matter to many out there as long as they "get" theirs. Well, they're going to get theirs and so are a lot of other people. Just unreal.
They're either incredibly naive or just plain stupid the way both sides in it completely dismiss simple human behavior. They remind me of Timothy Treadwell.
Employers were not going to just eat the loss. They are going to either cut hours, employees and/or raise prices. Call them mean, uncaring and greedy. Hell, let's just assume that's true in every case. It changes what? Absolutely nothing. End result is people still end up shafted.
Of course if you are against Obamacare, obviously you're against national healthcare, too! Because it's one or the other. I'm all for national healthcare for everyone, but this isn't it. It's just a way to obfuscate more fleecing.
I'd much, much rather see them attempt to fix the current system. Allow foreign meds in so companies have to compete. Don't give me lines about safety when we're shipping in lead-painted toys from China.
Reduce food stamps to only cover essential food items, similar to WIC. You should not be able to buy soda, potato chips and oreos on the tax payer dime. There's a reason our poor are so fat. Then their obese, diabetic selves sap all the funds from Medicare. Food stamps should be for essentials. Milk, bread, veggies. Same for welfare. It shouldn't be able to be used to buy booze, cigarettes, video games or any frivolous garbage.