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More Employers Examine Dependents' Eligibility For Health Insurance Plans

Armen Hareyan's picture

An increased number of U.S. employers have begun to require employeesto provide documented proof of the eligibility of dependents enrolledin their health plans as part of an effort to reduce costs, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to the Journal,employees that cannot provide documented proof -- such as marriagecertificates for spouses, birth certificates for children or enrollmentletters for full-time college students -- could lose health insurancefor their dependents or, in rare cases, their jobs "if they knowinglyseek coverage for family members they know to be ineligible."

Inaddition, employers could seek to recoup medical and prescription drugcosts from employees in cases of fraud. Auditors estimate that between2% and 40% of dependents enrolled in employer health plans do notqualify for the plans. Employers, which spend an average of $3,000annually for each dependent enrolled in their health plans, could savemillions of dollars through the removal of those who do not qualify forthe plans, according to auditors (Knight, Wall Street Journal, 9/11).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.