Phasing Out of "Spousal Coordination"

Good news for SHARE members who have had to deal with "spousal coordination" of their family health insurance -- it's going away!

Spousal coordination required SHARE members hired after 7/1/2008 to put their spouse on the spouse's employer's health insurance, if possible, even if the SHARE member purchased a family plan to cover children. UMass Memorial reimbursed the cost of the spouse's individual plan, and paid any extra to "top off" the spouse's coverage so that the employee didn't lose anything. It was supposed to cost no more to the SHARE member, but save UMass Memorial money.

UMass Memorial had proposed the plan to SHARE, feeling that area companies rely on the hospital's good health insurance coverage for spouses, saving those other companies money.

SHARE members thought spousal coordination was confusing, and a lot of paperwork to get reimbursed.

SHARE (and probably many others) had complained about spousal coordination to Human Resources. We asked if it really did save the hospital money, once the additional work was taken into account.

Human Resources has decided to discontinue the plan this year: New employees won't be signed up for it starting now, and SHARE members who already have won't anymore in the next health insurance year, starting January 2017.

HR has told SHARE that they are committed to helping SHARE members with the transition if there are problems with the timing of the spouse's health insurance year.