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Until recently most companies have just taken an employee’s word that the people they list for coverage under their family benefits are eligible. However, as health costs rise and margins drop more employers are checking, according to the Wall Street Journal. Almost three in four large US companies intend to conduct “dependent eligibility audits” this year, looking for divorced ex-spouses, older children who are not full time students, boyfriends and girlfriends listed on workers’ benefits. One large retail company’s audit revealed that 12.6% of dependents were not eligible and their coverage was dropped, saving the company $25 million in the first year beyond the cost of the audit.
Ellen Andrews