Employers Struggle With Increasing Costs To Insure Workers
The Roanoke Times: "This year, Carilion Clinic has paid approximately 80 percent of the health care premium costs for full-time employees. Beginning in 2011, the region's largest employer will decrease its contribution significantly, absorbing an average of 66 percent of the premium costs. The cost shifting has had a major impact on many of Carilion's 11,000 employees, with some seeing their contributions double for the new year.
The increases come after Carilion has posted grim financial results that include two straight years of losing money. It also comes as many businesses enter the annual open enrollment season, when rising health care costs become a stark reality to many families and individuals. Nationally, 69 percent of employers offer health benefits to their workers, covering an estimated 157 million people, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust. Companies generally allow employees to select benefit packages once a year, and many choose the fall as the time for those decisions" (Bruyn Jones, 11/7).
San Antonio Express: "A shaky economy and health care reform have done nothing to slow down the rising cost of health care. At least so far, San Antonio employers remain broadly committed to offering health insurance. But, as in years past, employers are making workers shoulder more of that load by increasing deductibles and co-pays and by passing on a bigger chunk of premium costs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, for example, eliminates the lifetime limits on medical benefits for employees and allows for coverage of adult children up to age 26 under a parent's insurance. ... A company that keeps its health plans relatively unchanged by retaining the same insurance carrier and passing on no more than minimal cost increases to employees could be exempt from many of the law's changes - such as the elimination of co-payments for dozens of preventive services" (Danner, 11/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.