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Facing a second year of deficits pushing the $500 million mark, the city of San Francisco is being forced to look under the couch cushions, and in the junk drawer, for any type of savings it can find in order to decrease costs. As it turns out, the city has discovered it can save money by denying health coverage to those deemed no longer eligible under the city’s plan:
It appears a number of city employees are receiving health benefits for dependents in cases when these dependents are not entitled to them. The most common abuse identified so far is in cases of divorce, when The City continues to pay for the health benefits for the former spouse because the worker never notifies The City about the separation.Just how many are ineligible but use The City’s benefit system remains unclear. So far, the recent crackdown on dependents wrongfully receiving benefits at taxpayers’ expense represents a savings of $30,000 a month, the result of removing nearly 300 ineligible people from the benefit rolls.