GM to crack down on healthcare coverage

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General Motors Corp, looking to trim its nearly $5 billion-a-year health-care tab, is cracking down on workers who are collecting medical benefits for ineligible dependents, the Wall Street Journal said Wednesday.

GM is giving its 67,000 hourly workers until Aug 20 to voluntarily remove ineligible dependents from their health policies, after which, they would have to prove the eligibility of covered-family members through an official document, the paper said.

If GM finds out it paid for health expenses it should not have, workers may be forced to reimburse the company, the paper said, citing a GM spokeswoman.

The No. 1 US automaker has audited its health-care rolls before, but the new effort is more extensive than those of previous years, the paper said, citing the company spokeswoman. GM did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

GM, which posted a $15.5 billion net loss in the second quarter, announced in July that it planned $10 billion of cost cuts, including eliminating white-collar jobs, retiree health-care coverage and executive bonuses for 2008. (Reuters)

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