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Spousal Surcharges: A New Way Public Sector Employers Are Keeping Health Costs Down

spousal surcharge

1 minute read

Some public sector employers are making significant changes to their spousal health benefit offerings. According to the 2018 International Foundation of Employee Benefits Survey, just over 20% of employers now either charge employees more to add a spouse to their health plan or exclude spouses entirely.

A spousal surcharge is just that: an additional fee an employee must pay if they want to include their spouse on the health plan. The fee helps offset the costs associated with spousal coverage and may be an extra $100 a month. Some spousal surcharges only apply to those spouses who have access to their own employer coverage and opt not to elect it. Most surcharges don’t apply to those spouses whose employers don’t offer coverage or for those who are not employed. Surcharges are also not applicable for dependent coverage.

Spousal surcharges can help employers recoup the cost of the spousal coverage as well as encouraging spouses to enroll in their own plan.1 For more information, read the full article.


1 https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-qa/pages/cms_015929.aspx

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National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.

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Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Steve Smith, Employee Benefits Consultant for National Insurance Services, has his energy level permanently set at “high.” His maxim is “work hard, play hard." In addition to coaching youth basketball and his relentless addiction to volunteering, Steve’s community service and political activities make him an expert in stirring the groundswell and getting groups of people working together for a higher cause. Minnesota schools, cities, and counties rely on Steve’s unique and creative ideas of engaging employees in their own health and wellness to lower utilization trends. He has a background in the health insurance field doing compliance, cost mitigation, utilization, analytics, wellness plans, and strategic planning. Steve is a licensed insurance agent and is Medicare Certified. He holds the designations for Managed Healthcare Professional (The Health Insurance Association of America), Certified Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Professional (National Association of Health Underwriters), and Group Benefits Disability Specialist (Hartford School of Insurance). Steve is a member of the Minnesota Assocation of Health Underwriters (MAHU). He specializes in Employee Benefits Consulting for Minnesota schools, cities, and counties including fully insured, self-insured, and stop-loss plans.