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University to dis-enroll spouses from U.Va. healthcare plan

Spouses of University employees who have access to health care plans through their own employers will no longer be eligible to receive insurance from the University as part of a family plan, the University announced in a press release Wednesday.

Starting January 1, all spouses will be automatically dis-enrolled from University healthcare plans unless employees fill out an affidavit that outlines the spouse’s eligibility to stay enrolled. Only those without access to health care plans through their employers that meet the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act will be allowed to stay with the University plans.

Children of employees will be allowed to stay on the University health plan, and the University will offer a new level of insurance plan with lower premiums than the family plan for University employees and their children.

The change comes as the costs of University-provided plans are expected to increase $7.3 million next year with the implementation of the part of the Affordable Care Act that requires all individuals to enroll in health insurance plans or pay a penalty tax, said Susan Carkeek, vice president and chief human resources officer.

In 2012 the University spent $127 million on health insurance plans, and the implementation of the affordable care act would have increased employee premiums by 12 or 13 percent if no changes were made, according to the press release.

Though health care costs have risen each year, the University expects to keep the increase to 6.8 percent annually.

University employee health care plans cost an average $9,270 in 2012, compared to the $10,522 national average determined by the consulting group Aon Hewitt. These figures include both the employee contribution and the portion of the plan paid for the by the employer.

The University is the only state agency to finance its own plan rather than offering plans provided by the state, according to the press release. The University’s health care plan, administered by Aetna, currently covers about 13,600 employees and their relatives.

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