Commentary: Have you noticed the growing trend among employers to exclude from their health plans employees’ spouses who have access to coverage through their own employers? While these policies are primarily adopted to lower health plan costs, many employers have discovered that an alternative method delivers the same result with greater efficiency. Let’s review some background on including spouses in employee health plans, then take a look at the inherent challenges of spousal exclusion policies, consider an alternative method, and review two quick case studies.

First, let’s consider the three reasons employees choose to enroll their spouses on their health plans:

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