Employers To Continue To Offer Health Insurance To Workers

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U.S. employers will continue to offer health insurance to employees butwill ask workers to contribute more to cover the cost, according to astudy released on Thursday by the Employee Benefit Research Institute at a forum sponsored by the group, CQ HealthBeatreports.

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According to the study, which involved a survey of employers,59% of respondents said that they will continue to offer healthinsurance to employees, a decrease of 9% from 2000 but the same as thepercentage in 1996 (Lubbes, CQ HealthBeat, 12/6). About71% of employees received health insurance through their employers in2007, compared with 73% to 75% between 1994 and 2000, the study found.

Thestudy said, "While a four percentage point drop in the number ofworkers with health benefits may be significant, it does not imply thatthese benefits are vanishing" (Stafford, Kansas City Star,12/6). Employers would only drop health insurance for employees in theevent that they lost related federal tax breaks, according to thestudy. In addition, the study found that more employers plan to beginoffering consumer-driven health plans to help reduce costs (CQ HealthBeat, 12/6).

Thecost of health insurance for employers doubled between 2000 and 2007,the study found. Between 2000 and 2007, the cost of premiums for singlecoverage increased by 86%, and the cost of premiums for family coverageincreased by 80%. Copayments for nonformulary brand-name medicationsincreased by 124% between 2000 and 2007, according to the study (Kansas City Star, 12/6).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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