Employees Face Soaring Health Insurance Costs
The costs to employees for health insurance keep increasing, even as employers pay more also. A Premium Sucker Punch:
The Corporate Executive Board found in its survey that a quarter of officials from 350 large corporations said they had increased deductibles an average of 9 percent in 2008. But 30 percent of the employers said they expected to raise deductibles an average of 14 percent in 2009. Mercer, a global benefits consulting firm, surveyed nearly 2,000 large corporations in a representative poll and found that 44 percent planned to increase employee-paid portion of premiums in 2009, compared with 40 percent in 2008.
The economic slowdown, according to analysts, is making it more difficult for many employers to subsidize health care costs at previous levels. On average, experts say, benefit packages contain the biggest increases for workers since the recession of 2001. Workers’ health costs are rising much faster than wages.
Premiums for employer-sponsored plans over a decade on average have risen to $12,680 a year from $5,791, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. The median deductible for the plans was $1,000 in 2008, compared with $500 from 2001 to 2007, according to a survey of 2,900 employers conducted by Mercer.
The broken health care system in the USA has been a huge drain on the economy and people’s standard of living for decades. The longer we allow the system to decline (increasing costs, declining results) the more damage the economy suffers and the larger the costs to implementing fixes become.
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