Employers Required To Disclose Amount Spent On Employee Health Insurance

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday proposed a bill to require employers that offer health insurance to disclose to employees the amount spent on their premiums, CQ Today reports.

Under the legislation -- sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee ranking member Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) -- employers would have to disclose on annual W-2 tax forms the amount spent on health insurance premiums for employees and their families, as well as the amount spent on dental and vision coverage.

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Many employees "aren't aware of what their health insurance costs because their employers pay half or more of their premiums, without always saying exactly how much," and many health care experts "say consumers might make more efficient health spending decisions, taking costs into account, if they knew the full cost of their health insurance," according to CQ Today.

Grassley said, "As long as people are insulated from the cost and just think someone else is paying for it, then it's easy to overlook expenses," adding, "But once they realize they themselves are paying for it, it should spark a genuine conversation about what to do." In addition, he said, "Some employees might want to receive different compensation in the form of a higher salary, additional vacation, or more child care instead of more health coverage than they need."

The senators will accept public comments on the bill through Dec. 31 (Wayne, CQ Today, 10/7).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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