Tuesday, September 15, 2009

U.S. workers' health costs soaring, studies show

"The Kaiser Family Foundation said the average premium for a company-provided family health insurance plan rose from $5,791 in 1999 to $13,375, a 131 percent jump."

"Separately, the Business Roundtable, an organization that represents large U.S. corporations, said per-employee costs will jump to $28,530 in 2019 from $10,743 currently if nothing is done."

"The Kaiser study said the portion of costs born by employees grew from $1,543 on average a decade ago to $3,515 this year. Employer saw their costs shoot up too, from $4,247 in contributions in 1999 to $9,860 in 2009 on average."

"About 60 percent of companies offer health-care coverage in the United States, insuring 159 million non-elderly people, according to Kaiser."

"Among those companies still offering health plans, 21 percent said they had reduced benefits or asked workers to pay additional costs while 15 percent said they had increased workers' share of the insurance premium."

"For 2010, companies said they also would shift more costs to workers, with 42 percent saying they would increase employees' premiums and 39 percent saying employees would pay more for doctor visits. Thirty-seven percent said workers would have to pay more for prescription medicines."

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