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Companies Save Millions by Seeking Proof of Dependent Eligibility

audit-mms.jpg"Hey Bob. Nice presentation today. How's the wife and kids? By the way, can I see their birth certificates?" This is the start of an awkward conversation that may occur at your company some time soon. An increasing number of businesses -- including Boeing, GM, and American Airlines -- are now conducting "dependent eligibility audits," asking employees to prove that their spouses and children qualify for medical benefits.

The audits can help a company save millions by taking benefits away from ex-spouses, stepchildren who live elsewhere, and other dependent-posing people. Obviously, morale suffers somewhat when workers feel their integrity is being challenged -- particularly if the worker in question has a strong history with the company -- but dependent eligibility audits exist because they're necessary. Wherever there is a system, there's someone scamming it.

(Audit M&Ms image courtesy of joebeone, cc 2.0)

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