Today’s News: Employer Health Costs to Increase, The Hartford Changes Life Underwriting Process and Most Affordable Auto Insurance State Revealed

A new report shows that employer health care costs are set to increase in 2011, The Hartford has changed the way life insurance policies are underwritten and the most affordable states for auto insurance have been revealed.

Employer Health Costs to Increase

Companies offering health plans to employees will likely see a jump in costs of about 9 percent in 2011, according to a recent report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers. As a result of this increase, says the report, most employees will end up paying higher health insurance deductibles with employers trying to offset their mounting costs. The report noted that by 2011, more than 50 percent of employees will have deductibles of $400 or more. Only 25 percent of employees had deductibles that high in 2008. The increase in costs is said to be a result of cash-strapped hospitals and Medicare rate cuts. (CNN Money)

The Hartford Changes Life Insurance Underwriting Process

Life insurer, The Hartford, has changed the way it underwrites life insurance so that it includes another age category and also bases a person’s life expectancy on a wider variety of factors, including family history of longevity, cancer screenings, exercise and the health of a person’s arteries. The insurance company has noted, in addition to changing the way that it qualifies people for coverage, it will offer a discount to those who are able to show they are in good health. (Courant)

Most Affordable Auto Insurance State Revealed

InsWeb has released its 2010 Car Insurance Affordability Index, which offers the most and least affordable states to have auto insurance. According to the index, Massachusetts is the most affordable state in the nation to purchase auto coverage while Louisiana is the least. In order to create the list, InsWeb looked at the affordability factor of auto insurance for each state, including Washington, D.C., which is determined by dividing a state’s median household car insurance rate by its median household income. The lower the factor, the less most families are willing to spend on car insurance relative to its budget. (Market Watch)