More employees to pay more toward their health care

Almost 2/3 of large U.S. employers in 2011 plan to ask employees to pay for a larger portion of their health coverage to reduce an expected increase in costs, partly attributed to the federal health reform law, according to a survey released last week by the National Business Group on Health.

The survey found that among respondents:

  • 63% intend to make workers pay a higher percentage of their premium costs next year, up from 57% in 2010;
  • 46% plan to raise the maximum level of out-of-pocket costs that workers would pay;
  • 44% plan to raise deductible rates for in-network providers;
  • 61% plan to offer a consumer-directed health plan in 2011;
  • 53% are willing to revise the design of their employees' health care plans, such as removing lifetime dollar limits on overall benefits and specific benefits, and eliminating provisions that exclude coverage for children with pre-existing medical conditions;

Click here for the survey (http://www.businessgrouphealth.org/pdfs/Plan%20Design%20Survey%20Report%20Public.pdf).

(Sources: Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, August 23, 2010; National Business Group on Health, http://businessgrouphealth.org, accessed August 23, 2010)