Costs spur UPS to drop health coverage for some spouses

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Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013 12:00 am

United Parcel Service plans to drop health insurance coverage for about 15,000 working spouses of white-collar employees to curtail rising costs.

Many spouses in the U.S. workforce will have access to employer-provided insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care-system overhaul, and UPS will remove them from its coverage, according to a copy of a memo to employees first published online by Kaiser Health News. Spouses who don’t work or lack employer-provided benefits will still be eligible at Atlanta-based UPS, according to the memo.

In its memo, UPS said the coverage shift is a response to expenses from the 2010 Affordable Care Act and “the rising cost of health care in general.”

Paul Fronstin, a director at the Washington-based Employee Benefit Research Institute, said the total exclusion by UPS may be a first for a company its size.

“Is it a harbinger of things to come? Possibly,” Fronstin said. “Once a major employer like UPS takes a step, all of the others will at least start looking at it.”

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Lowe’s second-quarter net income rose 26 percent as Americans, feeling good about sprucing up their homes again, snapped up indoor and outdoor home products and supplies.

The second-largest home-improvement chain’s results beat Wall Street expectations. It also raised its full-year earnings and revenue forecasts Wednesday.

In other earnings reports Wednesday:

>> Hewlett-Packard made a profit in the latest quarter, reversing a huge loss a year ago that stemmed from an $8 billion charge. But the technology bellwether’s revenue declined amid an ongoing weakness in the PC market.

>> Target Corp. muted its annual profit forecast after reporting a 13 percent drop in second-quarter profits as the cheap-chic retailer deals with cautious shoppers.

“For the balance of this year, our U.S. outlook envisions continued cautious spending by consumers in the face of ongoing household budget pressures,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s chairman.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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