Employers Examine Dependents’ Eligibility for Health Plans
An increased number of U.S. employers have begun to require employees to provide documented proof of the eligibility of dependents enrolled in 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 marriage certificates for spouses, birth certificates for children or enrollment letters for full-time college students -- could lose health insurance for their dependents or, in rare cases, their jobs "if they knowingly seek coverage for family members they know to be ineligible."
In addition, employers could seek to recoup medical and prescription drug costs from employees in cases of fraud. Auditors estimate that between 2% and 40% of dependents enrolled in employer health plans do not qualify for the plans. Employers, which spend an average of $3,000 annually for each dependent enrolled in their health plans, could save millions of dollars through the removal of those who do not qualify for the plans, according to auditors (Knight, Wall Street Journal, 9/11).