Health insurance cost continues to grow for employers and employees

Many larger employers are self-insured and exempt from many of the Affordable Care Act's requirements.
MCT Regional News
Aug 21, 2013

The cost of health insurance for employers and their workers is climbing more slowly, but it’s still inching closer to a day of reckoning.

The cost of premiums for individual workers rose 5 percent in 2013 from the previous year, and the increase was 4 percent for family coverage, according to a survey released today by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust.

That’s far from the double-digit premium hikes of a decade ago, but it continues to outpace workers’ wages (an increase of 1.8 percent) and inflation (an increase of 1.1 percent).

The average annual premium for employer-sponsored health insurance now stands at $5,884 for single coverage and $16,351 for family coverage.

Among all firms, 38 percent of covered workers now have a general annual deductible of at least $1,000, up from 34 percent last year.

While the unfolding Affordable Care Act might have some influence on small businesses’ costs because they’ll be able to shop new plans through newly created online marketplaces, many larger employers are self-insured and thus exempt from many of the law’s requirements, said Gary Claxton, Kaiser vice president.

But Claxton noted that the survey found that 9 percent of large firms (200 or more workers) — and 29 percent of those firms with 5,000 or more workers — are considering offering health benefits through a privately run marketplace, or exchange, in the future.

That would help employers define how much they’re willing to spend on health care, and could create more incentives for their workers to get their care from lower-cost providers.

“The potential is for employers to move a little bit away from running their own programs,” Claxton said.

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By Ben Sutherly - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

Contango

So the original "goal" was to get millions of uninsured Americans health ins. and in order to do that, Pres. Obama and friends had to 'up end' the entire health care insurance structure in the U.S.?

Reads like the old joke about the committee that was breeding a horse and ended up with a giraffe.

Increasing the number of insureds, while giving them better quality and more benefits for less cost ain’t economically possible.

Costs can ONLY go up.

cooker

If the larger companies that are self insured are exempt of most of the laws (like my employer), then why did all my employees still get their hours cut to 29? AND they kept them that way even though the act was postponed a year.

deertracker

It's about greed, corporate greed. Of course they want to put the blame on the President and/or Obamacare and the clueless among us actually believe it.

Contango

Re: "It's about greed, corporate greed."

A stupidly simplistic answer to a highly complex problem.

And the gov't ain't greedy? Give me a (bleepin') break.

Contango

Re: "self insured are exempt of most of the laws,"

The exemptions are TEMPORARY.

Now The Rest of...

Another miracle of the obozo administration.

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

Even doctors are clueless on Obamacare. They were selling Obamacare as a way to save small business. Obama was saying it's going to lower the deficit. None of it was true. Even the do-nothing Obama voters are clueless. How can you expect to add 30M people to Obamacare and yet have your healthcare premiums go down? Too bad the drooling masses didn't have the brains to understand what obama was about. Good luck kids

JACKEL

A person I know went to the ER and waited 3 hrs.One of the other waiter's lost it and screamed and hollered.I am sure he was a Medicaider.Wait till the elven million Illegals use it as their Drs.Office.HAH !