Magazine article Workforce Management

Family Coverage May Face a Shift

Magazine article Workforce Management

Family Coverage May Face a Shift

Article excerpt

A front in the cost battle

Big companies remain committed to paying a "significant share"

WHILE EMPLOYERS REMAIN COMMITTED to providing "a significant portion" of the cost of health benefits for workers and their families, 41 percent report that they are very likely or somewhat likely to scale back their share of premiums for family coverage in the next two years.

The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Education Trust released findings from their joint annual survey last month indicating that employers currently shoulder 73 percent of the average family coverage premium of $9,950, or $7,289. This share has held steady within a 2 percent margin over the last three years, despite the backdrop of a cumulative 59 percent hike in the cost of health-care insurance since 2001.

A total of 1,925 public and private employers, with 3 to 300,000 employees, responded to the questionnaire, which provided feedback on the current status of healthcare costs, benefits and plan structures. With health-care costs up by 11.2 percent in 2004, respondents expressed a lack of confidence in existing cost-containment strategies such as disease management and consumer-driven health plans. …

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