Working spouse rule health insurance 2022

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The working spouse rule in health insurance has been a topic of discussion and concern for many individuals and families. As we enter 2022, it is important to understand the implications and potential changes that may arise regarding this rule. In this article, we will delve deeper into the working spouse rule and its impact on health insurance coverage.

Understanding the Working Spouse Rule

The working spouse rule, also known as the spousal surcharge, is a provision that some employers implement in their health insurance plans. It typically applies when an employee’s spouse has access to health insurance coverage through their own employer but chooses to be covered under their spouse’s plan instead. The purpose of this rule is to encourage spouses to utilize their own employer’s coverage if it is available to them.

Implications for Health Insurance Coverage: The working spouse rule can have various implications for health insurance coverage. In some cases, employers may charge an additional fee or surcharge for spouses who have access to their own employer-sponsored health insurance but choose to enroll in their spouse’s plan. This surcharge is often intended to offset the additional cost of covering a spouse who has access to alternative coverage.

It is important to note that not all employers implement the working spouse rule, and the specific details and requirements can vary. Some employers may only apply the rule if the spouse’s employer offers comparable coverage, while others may apply it regardless of the spouse’s employer’s offerings.

Changes and Updates for 2022

As we enter 2022, it is essential to stay informed about any changes or updates to the working spouse rule. Employers may review and revise their health insurance plans annually, which could result in modifications to the working spouse rule. These changes can include adjustments to the surcharge amount, eligibility criteria, or even the complete removal of the rule.

Communication from Employers: Employers are typically required to provide advance notice to employees regarding any changes to their health insurance plans, including updates to the working spouse rule. This allows employees and their spouses to make informed decisions about their health insurance coverage and consider alternative options if necessary.

If you are uncertain about the specific details of your employer’s working spouse rule for 2022, it is advisable to reach out to your human resources department or review the documentation provided by your employer.

Considerations for Employees and Spouses

When evaluating the working spouse rule and its impact on health insurance coverage, there are several factors to consider:

Cost Comparison: Compare the cost of enrolling your spouse in your health insurance plan with any potential surcharges to the cost of their own employer-sponsored coverage. Consider the coverage benefits, deductibles, co-pays, and out-of-pocket expenses for both options.

Network Coverage: Assess the network coverage of both plans to ensure that your preferred healthcare providers are included. Evaluate the availability of specialists, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities within each network.

Quality of Coverage: Review the quality of coverage offered by both plans, including prescription drug coverage, preventive care, and any additional benefits or services that may be important to you and your spouse.


The working spouse rule in health insurance can have significant implications for individuals and families. As we enter 2022, it is crucial to understand the potential changes and updates that may occur regarding this rule. Consider the cost, network coverage, and quality of coverage when evaluating the best health insurance option for you and your spouse. Stay informed about any communication from your employer regarding the working spouse rule and consult with your human resources department for specific details.


– Society for Human Resource Management (
– U.S. Department of Labor (