Helping Employees Make Smart Health Decisions for Their Dependents | Mercer US

Helping Employees Make Smart Decisions for Their Dependents

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Helping Employees Make Smart Decisions for Their Dependents
Calendar11 September 2015

We know most employees stay with the same medical plan year after year unless forced to make a change, and that probably goes for their dependent coverage elections as well. Michelle Andrews wrote a helpful article in Time about coverage choices for dependent children after college. But the truth is, employees should consider their options each year for how best to cover their family members. In recent years employers have been lessening the subsidies for spouse and dependent coverage – and some have taken stronger measures with spousal exclusions and surcharges. All this to help individuals see the opportunity during open enrollment to sit down at the kitchen table and evaluate the options for the coming year. With more generous subsidies for individual coverage, it may be a no-brainer for both working spouses/partners to take their own coverage. But then comes the question, where to cover the kids? This decision is best made by considering:

  • Paycheck contribution for the coverage
  • Plan features for cost sharing – deductible, coinsurance, out of pocket maximums
  • Network of providers -- are your doctors in the network?

Employers might want to consider how to address these dependent coverage decisions in your open enrollment materials this year.

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