My wife and I just found her that her company (fortune 500) changed the employee health care plan in December 2006. We're expecting our first child at the end of September (you can see where this is going....). Her health insurance now requires her to pay 10% of all hospital expenses - which for a natural birth could be $1000 - $1,500 - plus the deductible of $300.
She was shocked when she learned this and asked several coworkers and none of them knew about the change (her company is 90% female, so this would be something many would/should be aware of).
She asked her benefits person about it and was told it was discussed at an open employee meeting last December. My wife - and her coworkers - remember an e-mail that discussed attending the meeting if you wanted to change your coverage, and the only mention of the change to existing coverage was an increase in the deductible - not a reduction in coverage. She is attempting to get a copy of the original notification e-mail to see if she and her coworkers are correct in how the meeting was described.
I should mention that this is in Pennsylvania.
My question is - how thorough must employers be when changing existing coverage? Is saying "an increase in your deductible" the same as what they meant - "an increase in your deductible and a reduction in your overall care"? Obviously, we were actively trying to get pregnant at the time this happened and we both strongly believe that if a notification mentioned an changed to existing coverage (other than just an increased deductible) she would have attended the meeting.