Many health plans, on the constant endeavor to reduce the costs of health benefits, are discouraging spouses from enrolling in their plan. One survey showed that over 20% of health plans place restraints on spousal coverage. Plans may choose to simply refuse to offer coverage to spouses, or alternatively to refuse to offer coverage to spouses who have the option of coverage through their own employer-sponsored coverage.
Plans may also discourage the enrollment of spouses by charging a surcharge for the spouse, often depending on if the spouse has access to his or her own employer-sponsored coverage. This is a popular option, as a surcharge for spouses is generally considered a fair way to allocate costs. A separate survey shows that over 25% of plans impose a surcharge on spouses, with the median amount of $100 per month. With health costs constantly rising, health plans that need to save money may want to consider implementing such restrictions.