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Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Employer No Longer Covers Dependents. Can He Do that?

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Question: My employer has just sent me an email stating he will no longer cover the insurance premium for my spouse and my cost for myself will increase. He states this is effective in March. Is this legal? This is a small Colorado employer.

Answer: Yes. Your employer was never required to cover your spouse and did so voluntarily. If an employer offers a group health plan, he or she is required to be fair. For example, it the employer offers coverage for spouse or other dependents, he or she must offer like coverage to all employees of that class, e.g. hourly, salaried, management, etc..

From what you say, your employer is making a choice to no longer contribute to dependent coverage for all enrolled employees effective on the March 1 plan renewal date. That is his right and probably a necessity for the health of the business. Employer sponsored health insurance costs have increased by 50% over the last 5 or 6 years.

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