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September 14, 2005
Employers Say Workers Will Shoulder More of Healthcare Costs

Business owners and benefits managers whose companies currently pay for at least some health-insurance benefits expect healthcare costs to jump an additional 12 percent over the next year, and they say they will ask their employees to pay an average of 21 percent of the increase, according to a survey by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Faced with rising healthcare costs, business owners say they must continue to pass a portion of the increased costs on to their employees by requiring them to pay a mounting share of the premiums, co-pays, or deductibles, a according to the survey.

Four in five business owners (79 percent) who anticipate increases in their health care costs say they are concerned about their employees' ability to shoulder the projected increases.

Survey respondents estimate that their employees currently pay, on average, 29 percent of the cost of their own health insurance premiums-up six percentage points from 2003. According to figures from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research Educational Trust, premiums average $10,880 annually for family coverage ($907 per month) in 2005, and $4,024 ($335 per month) for individual coverage.

More than one-third (35 percent) of businesses that report an expected increase in healthcare costs say it is likely their employees would consider dropping their health care coverage because of this increase in out-of-pocket costs.

Read more about healthcare insurance on Compensation.BLR.com.

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