More U.S. Workers Are Making Greater Use of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits, Survey Finds
U.S. workers are making more use of their employer-sponsored health insurance benefits because of concerns that employers could cut benefits or increase costs during the economic recession, according to a survey released Friday by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's "Dollars & Sense" blog reports. IFEBP surveyed its members between March 30 and April 6 and found that one-third reported an increase in their workers filling prescription medications or undergoing costly medical procedures before their insurance runs out, the study found. Sally Natchek, senior director of research for IFEBP, said, "Plan participants are feeling anxious about the possibility of increased cost-sharing and a reduction in benefits due to the financial crisis."
The survey also found that 24% of employers said more workers were adding dependents to their health plans, and 17.8% said they have considered or already conducted audits to determine whether dependents qualify. In addition, the study found that 35% of employers are raising employees' premiums, deductibles, co-insurance and copayments because of increasing medical costs as well as the recession (Boulton, "Dollars & Sense," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4/18). More information about the survey is available online.