Employers Cutting Health Insurance Benefits
Health coverage is the hot topic around most office water coolers these days. According to the most recent statistics available from the U.S. Census Bureau,nearly 47 million Americans are without medical insurance. Those fortunate enough to have coverage are finding that their premiums are escalating faster than they can keep up with.
Employer Health Contributions
Employers who provide the benefit to their employees are also feeling the sting of premium increases. Over the past ten years, employer-sponsored health insurance premiums have increased a whopping 131% and that trend is expected to follow on par in the future. In response, many employees are being asked to make further financial contributions towards their health insurance, or employers are cutting this benefit altogether.
Health Care Expected to Be Cut Further
This trend was put on the books as early asDecember of 2008 whenconsulting firm Watson Wyatt stated that25% of companies had plans to make employees contribute more towards their health care.In April 2009, U.S.A. Today reported that “Almost half of U.S. employees surveyed by Fidelity predict that benefits such as health insurance, retirement savings plans and pension plans won’t be provided by their employer by 2019.”
It is getting to the point that even insurance companies likeWellPoint health insurance company. Not only is the behemoth raising the amount employees must contribute towards their medical benefits, they are also encouraging their staffers to work and protest against health care reform.
Health Care Reform
Originally, the health care reform being worked on in the government was going to require employers (within certain parameters) to provide health insurance to their employees. However, this provision was being altered to instead charge employers who do not provide coverage to their staff some penalty fees.
Recent Federal Reserve statements have deemed the economy as stabilizing, on track and that the recession is over. Consumers need to remember that the entire debacle was years in the making and it will still take a sizable amount of time for the situation to fully reverse. Therefore, the tendency of employers cutting medical benefits may continue to occur for the near future.