Employees Face Rising Health Care Costs During Open Enrollment Season
Employees are facing rising health care costs during this open enrollment season.
The Virginian-Pilot reports: "This is the season when employees learn how much their health care costs will change next year. Hewitt Associates LLC, a human-resources research firm outside Chicago, estimated in a recent survey that workers would see an average 10 percent increase."
In the Hampton Roads area of Virginia "the numbers, percentages and repercussions vary markedly, depending on the extent of the coverage, the employer's willingness to share the cost and the employee's circumstances. ... The premium outlook swings a wide pendulum in Hampton Roads." For instance, the Virginian-Pilots notes: "The same coverage will cost subscribers 8 to 12 percent more next year at Anthem and about 12 percent more at Optima. To minimize the impact, some employers are opting for 'benefit buy-downs,' such as higher deductibles and decreased emergency-room coverage, that lower cost increases for employees, both insurers said." And at the Norfolk Southern Corp., "insurance premiums will rise 18 percent for union members and 12 percent for non-union employees" (Walzer, 11/9).
WTHR, an NBC affiliate in Indiana, reports: "While the healthcare reform bill passed the House on Capitol Hill, here in the State Capitol, employees are wondering how they'll pay for the rising cost of health insurance. A letter went out this week reminding state workers it's time to choose their health plan for the coming year. ... State workers, who for the second year in a row, won't receive a pay increase, will on average pay more for health coverage in the coming year." In addition, "a new study shows that health insurance premiums have increased almost eight percent faster than wages in Indiana" (Kirschner, 11/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.