(Cincinnati, Oh.) - Employees at Indiana Kroger stores will have to tell their spouses that they must find insurance elsewhere.
Cincinnati-based Kroger has negotiated a contract with several of its Indiana unions that eliminates spousal coverage for health insurance, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports. The policy, which is not company-wide, will affect about 11,000 Kroger workers in Indiana.
Experts point to two major reasons for the switch: increasing health care costs and the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act, widely referred to as Obamacare.
Kroger isn’t the first company to reduce employer-sponsored benefits for spouses. Other companies across the country and locally have instituted policies in recent years placing surcharges on spousal coverage or not allowing spouses on their employees’ coverage at all.
The new agreement between Kroger and its unions in the Hoosier state does provide some benefits to employees, such as a pension fund, wage increases, and health insurance coverage for employees who work as few as 20 hours per week, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier.