Study: Employees Will Pay More For Health Insurance In 2011

Companies’ health costs will rise about 9 percent on average next year as a result of the aging workforce, growing medical costs and health law-related changes, and employees can expect to pick up an ever-growing share, the Los Angeles Times reports. Human resources consultant Hewitt’s survey of 350 medium to large firms found companies “will spend $9,821 per employee on average for insurance next year, up from $9,028 this year — an 8.8% increase and more than double what they paid in 2001.” Employees will contribute an average of $2,209 to that tab, a 12 percent increase (Helfand, 9/27).

The Chicago Sun-Times: In Chicago, the rise will be even higher. “The average employee cost, including premiums and out-of-pocket costs such as co-pays and co-insurance, will rise to $4,520 from $4,022 last year, the company said. That includes $2,286 in premiums and $2,234 for out-of-pocket costs” (Knowles, 9/27).

The Dallas Morning News: Next year’s leap comes after smaller increases this year and in 2009. “This year health care costs in Dallas increased 3.7 percent, compared with 4.2 percent in 2009. In 2011, however, Hewitt is projecting an 8.7 percent average rate increase, which is in line with the national average of 8.8 percent” (Roberson, 9/28).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Health insurance premiums for large employers have more than doubled since 2001. The Hewitt analysis is representative of the broad trend in which employers and employees pay higher premiums for less coverage each year.” The company estimates that only 1 to 2 percentage points of the 8.8-percent increase is attributable to health law changes (Bolton, 9/27).

Related, earlier KHN story: Employers Push Higher Health Insurance Costs Onto Workers (Galewitz, 9/2)

Separately, “[h]ealth insurance premiums for family coverage have risen 114 percent over the last 10 years, and experts said it is unlikely there is any relief in sight until the health care system undergoes a massive overhaul,” the Scranton, Pa., Times-Tribune reports. “The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on heath care issues in the U.S., surveys employer-sponsored health insurance coverage annually. This year’s study looked at more than 3,000 randomly selected private and public firms that had three or more employees” (Nissley, 9/27). 

The Salt Lake Tribune: “At least 10 health insurance companies operating in Utah have imposed premium increases of up to 16 percent, which they blame solely on federal health reform. The rate hikes apply to policies sold to small businesses and individuals — the path to coverage for about 38 percent of Utahns — and are under review by Utah regulators” (Stewart, 9/27).


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