Thank Obama & Democrats for ever increasing Health Care Costs for Employees (politics)
Thank Obama & Democrats for ever increasing Health Care Costs for Employees
Companies continue chipping away at health insurance benefits
Jayne O'Donnell, USA TODAY 7:19 p.m. EST November 11, 2015
Companies’ health care costs in 2015 rose at the lowest rate in at least 20 years, a report out Thursday shows, but workers' share of costs continue to skyrocket.
The average health care rate increase for mid-sized and large companies was 3.2% this year, the lowest since the consulting firm Aon started tracking it in 1996. Despite this, the average amount workers have to contribute toward their health care is up more than 134% over the past decade and that trend will accelerate.
"Our clients say, 'I can’t keep paying more and more of these ever-rising health costs,' " says Craig Dolezal, a senior vice president of Aon's health practice.
Craig Dolezal, senior vice president in Aon Hewitt's
Craig Dolezal, senior vice president in Aon Hewitt's health practice. (Photo: Handout)
Employees on average contributed $2,490 toward premiums and another $2,208 in out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments, coinsurance and deductibles in 2015, the report shows. The amount of employees’ premium and out-of-pocket costs combined was just $2,001 in 2005.
Increases in deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs stem in large part from the looming “Cadillac tax” that takes effect in 2018, experts at Aon and consulting firm Towers Watson say.
This tax — which some members of Congress want to kill — penalizes companies for having especially generous cost sharing beginning in January 2018. High deductible plans are the easiest way to avoid the tax.
"No question change is afoot and the excise tax is a catalyst for change," says Randall Abbott, a senior strategist in consulting firm Towers Watson’s health and group benefits practice.
Although some critics say companies are going farther and moving faster than they need to in cutting health benefits ahead of the tax, Dolezal says companies couldn't realistically wait and make drastic changes in cost sharing just for 2018. Employers are instead raising cost sharing and helping workers learn how to shop for health care.
FINISH READING this at: USAtoday