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How 'Working Spouse' Rules Can Save a Company Money -- And Headaches

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This story appears in the October 2011 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Spouse RulesA robust benefits package, with options that include spouses and other family members, can be an important tool in recruiting and retaining the best employees. But without clear policies that spell out your company's guidelines with regard to working spouses, divorce and other issues, your business could end up incurring needless expenses or damage employee relationships, says Matthew McDermott, an employee benefits consultant with Landmark Group of Brighton, a Rochester, N.Y., insurance agency and benefits consulting firm.

One of the key areas where employers can save money is by creating working spouse "carve-outs," says Jeffrey Kraut, an independent certified public accountant from Commack, N.Y. In other words, the company sets a policy that if a working spouse has the option of health insurance through his or her employer, he or she must take advantage of that plan rather than choose his or her spouse's plan.

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