About 31 percent of workers are in so-called high deductible plans this year, up from 10 percent in 2006, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey. Such policies are sometimes accompanied by a tax-sheltered savings account that can be used for health expenses.
Employers to continue raising rates, shifting cost to workers
October 23, 2011
As open enrollment for health insurance approaches, employees can expect the same-old same-old — paying more for less coverage.
The real cost of health insurance will rise an average of 7.1 percent nationally for 2012, based on early results from a Mercer survey of employers.
That's actually an improvement. Costs have been spiking annually at 9 percent for about five years, said Mercer, the big human resources company.
Companies are responding by cutting benefits, urging employees into lower-cost plans and charging employees a bigger share of premiums. Only 39 percent of companies will not shift costs to employees next year, according to the survey.
Usually starting in November, open enrollment allows workers to choose from a menu of plans offered by their employer. As cost rise, many employees are moving into plans with deductibles of at least $1,000 for single coverage, and higher for families. About 31 percent of workers are in so-called high deductible plans this year, up from 10 percent in 2006, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey. Such policies are sometimes accompanied by a tax-sheltered savings account that can be used for health expenses.
Cost-shifting maneuvers are helping companies hold their own cost increase down to an average of 5.4 percent, according to Mercer...
Employer Health Plans Often Omit Part-Timer Workers
Kaiser Health News.org
Oct 23, 2011
Several news outlets this weekend covered work-based insurance issues, including reaction to the Wal-Mart announcement that it would be cutting back coverage for new part-timers and what workers in a number of places should expect as their bosses roll out policies for the coming year.
The Washington Post: Health-Care Coverage Still Eludes Some Part-Time Workers
The news came as a shock: Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer, would not offer health benefits to new part-time employees, the company said Friday. But perhaps it shouldn’t have been so surprising, since the retailer was among a minority of U.S. businesses. Only 16 percent of employers offer health insurance to part-timers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s most recent Employer Health Benefits Survey. The number increases to 42 percent among large employers. ... The health-care law that Congress passed last year is unlikely to change that. While part-time workers will have access to new, subsidized coverage on the individual market, the Obama administration’s signature legislative achievement provides little incentive for employers to cover workers who are not full-time staff (Kliff, 10/22)...