Prepare For More Expensive Healthcare Premiums
People employed in the United States have received another blow to their pockets this year, a jump of 14% in costs for family health insurance, although the total cost for these services increased by only 3%, says CNNMoney.com.
With growth come conditions in which these insurance premiums, including what contributes a self-employed have increased an average of only 3% to 13,770 dollars this year, while employers’ contributions have remained at a constant level. This discrepancy is a result of cost-effective decisions applied by companies, by increasing the employee contribution to health insurance.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. workers pay premiums of about $ 4,000 annually for health insurance for the entire family in 2010, with 482 dollars more than what they paid last year. Meanwhile, companies are paying “bulk”, that is a standard fee of 9800 dollars for a family of four, yet this is a lower amount compared to 2009.
The Kaiser Family Foundation study was conducted during January-May 2010 on a sample of over 3,000 people nationwide in the United States.
In the last five years, the rate of fees of what employees in the United States have to pay in insurance premiums increased by 47%, exceeding a 27% increase in the cost of premiums overall and a 18% wage increase, according to Kaiser.
“Employers are struggling to maintain profitability. They resort to cutting costs just to maintain occupancy of the workforce. One way to do this is to ask employees to pay more, “says Deborah Chollet, an economist at Mathematics Policy Research. Also, the recession and turmoil in the labor market is a catalyst for increased insurance costs, she said.
In a labor market in an expanding economy, a higher rate of turnover of helping companies to pay an increased insurance costs, increase the share of workers without the participation expenses.
“Employees spend some time at his new workplace in order to adjust accordingly. They do not use the health benefits provided for a while, “said Tracy Watts, senior consultant at Mercer Health Affairs.
In an economy in a downturn, the rate decreases revenue and existing employees tend to use their benefits more and more.
Another incentive for increasing health insurance costs, represents the new trend among younger employees, who hesitate to acquire such coverage to save money, except when they really need one, Tracy Watts continued.
This is a major risk for companies, because it can cause a quick inflation in the health insurance cost, if any unexpected growth in the market recently affected persons and purchasing insurance.
The health system reform proposed by President Barack Obama cannot compensate for all costs, but may help stabilize the market in general, says Chollet. “The hope is that once the reform, there will be an increasing number of people who are insured and this will lead to lower costs,” she said.
Others, however, are not so sure. “The following year, increasing costs may be even greater,” said Claxton, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation. “I’ve heard of situations in which insurers have asked employers for higher contributions as of next year.”
On the other hand, Watts says she does not know any factor which helps to streamline costs in the near future. “The Health reform mandates new levels of coverage, which will not increase costs among employees, at least until 2014,” she said.11