Jesse Gelsomini in the Houston Chronicle: Ready to Pay a 'Spousal Surcharge' for Healthcare?


The company picnic, that summertime ritual showcasing family friendliness, might become a little awkward when spouses learn they're as welcome as day-old potato salad.

A small but growing number of companies are planning to introduce "spousal surcharges" for husbands or wives who want to stay on the company health care plan, even if they are eligible for coverage through their own employer, according to a recent HR Houston survey of more than 200 companies representing more than 30 industries...

"It's a very, very hot topic," said Jesse Gelsomini, a lawyer who focuses on employee benefits and executive compensation with Haynes and Boone, LLP in Houston. Surcharges are becoming increasingly common among employers, he said, and he expects to see more companies adopt them in 2014.

Some companies are considering whether to drop spousal coverage altogether if the husband or wife of an employee can get coverage elsewhere, Gelsomini said.

Excerpted from the Houston Chronicle, June 17, 2013. To view full article, click here.

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