Employees Face New Choices, Costs This Open Enrollment Season
For example, Wells Fargo is offering its employees new choices, which may pose challenges for them.
Georgia Health News: Time For Many To Decide On 2012 Coverage
[T]his month kicks off open enrollment season, when many of us dread the annual confrontation with our employer health benefits plan. ... Here are some tips — from experts such as [Consumer Reports' Nancy] Metcalf and from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners — for consumers who are making decisions on employer-sponsored health plans (Miller, 10/12).
Related, earlier story from KHN: Costs Of Employer Insurance Plans Surge in 2011 (Appleby, 9/27).
Reuters: Wells Fargo Gives Staff Tough Health Care Choices
Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), one of the largest U.S. employers, plans to cut costs by moving its workers into insurance plans that encourage them to spend less on health care. The bank told Reuters that it is rolling out a new insurance approach next year that will give employees accounts to help cover medical expenses. They can either put their own pretax dollars in the accounts, or pay higher insurance premiums and have the company fund the account. If employees opt to put their own money into the accounts, they are on the hook for more of their medical expenses if they get sick. If they stay healthy, they benefit from lower premiums. These types of accounts are believed to be useful in encouraging consumers to think more about how they are spending health care dollars (Rothacker, 10/12).
McClatchy/The Charlotte Observer: Bank Of America To Reimburse Gay Employees For Extra Tax Costs On Health Care
Bank of America will soon reimburse gay employees who insure same-sex partners for the extra federal taxes they pay on health coverage. The program was announced as part of the company's open enrollment for health, medical and dental insurance this month, and will go into effect next year, said company spokeswoman Ferris Morrison. For heterosexual married couples, employer-paid health benefits for spouses are nontaxable, and employees can use pre-tax dollars to pay premiums. But for gay couples, the benefits are taxable and premiums must be paid with after-tax money (Dunn, 10/12).