Employees pay more for less health care
Total cost of premiums didn't rise much this year, but employees are paying a higher percentage and seeing cuts in benefits.
Chalk up another budget category where you're paying more and getting less: employer-provided health care.
A new survey shows that workers are paying a higher percentage of their health insurance premiums as benefits are reduced and co-payments and deductibles rise.
The 2010 Employer Health Benefits Survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust found that workers are paying 19% of the cost of individual insurance and 30% of the cost of family insurance, the highest rate in the 12 years the survey has been done. Last year, workers paid 17% of the cost of individual coverage and 27% of the cost of family coverage. Post continues after video.
Kaiser president and CEO Drew Altman explained the changing insurance landscape for workers in a news release:
With the economy struggling, businesses have been shifting more of the costs of health insurance to workers through premiums, deductibles and other cost-sharing. This may be helping to stem the rapid rise in premiums that we saw in the early 2000s, but it also means employer coverage is less comprehensive. From a consumer perspective, the cost of health insurance just keeps going up faster than wages.
Since 2005, according to the survey:
- Health insurance premiums have risen 27%.
- The amount employees pay has gone up 47%.
- Wages have increased 18%.
- The Consumer Price Index has risen 12%.
The survey was conducted between January and May, so the results were not affected by health care reform, which has not yet gone into effect for employer-provided policies. It's still unclear what the economic impact of reform will be for those who receive health insurance through their employers.
Forsingle workers, the total cost of premiums increased 5%, to $5,059 annually. The worker's share went up from $779 in 2009 to $899 in 2010, meaning employees paid more than half the increased annual cost of $225.
Forfamily plans, premiums rose 3%, to $13,770, with workers paying $3,997, up from $3,515 last year.
Of course, those with employer-provided health insurance are still paying much less for more coverage than self-employed people and others who buy their own insurance. An individual policy can easily cost $2,500 to $5,000 a year for one person with a $5,000 deductible. And that's for a healthy person who can get insurance.
Among other findings:
- 30% of employers that offer coverage reported either reducing benefits or increasing the amount employees pay in deductibles, co-payments and other charges.
- 27% of employees with health benefits have a deductible of at least $1,000, up from 22% last year. At firms with fewer than 200 employees, nearly half have deductibles of at least $1,000.
- 13% of workers covered by employer-provided insurance have high-deductible plans with health savings accounts, up 8% from last year.
- 74% of employers offer one or more wellness programs.
More from MSN Money:
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Financial Information.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Selling your home? A few minor -- and inexpensive -- changes can give your house mass-market appeal.