For millions of Americans who get their health insurance through their job, autumn brings not only falling leaves and cooler breezes, but also difficult choices. That’s because it’s the time when many employers present workers with their insurance options for the coming year.
The selection is likely to be even less appealing this year than last. According to experts and industry insiders, recent trends suggest rates will continue to rise and employers will continue to shift more of the cost of health insurance onto workers – asking them to shoulder a larger share of premiums, for instance, or increasing out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and co-pays.
Overall, the employers said that they expected their health-care costs to increase between 9 and 12 percent – but that they planned to use cost-saving measures to effectively bring that increase down to 6 percent. Some 57 percent said one way they would do this would be to have their employees pay a greater share of the cost of coverage.