That was double the figure in 2008. Another 6 percent imposed a surcharge on top of health-care premiums for insuring spouses. Is it a harbinger of things to come? Possibly, Paul Fronstin, a director at the Washington-based Employee Benefit Research Institute, said of UPSs decision. Once a major employer like UPS takes a step, all of the others will at least start looking at it. The question for other companies will be whether the health plan savings from dropping some spouses outweigh the cost in terms of recruitment and retention, he said. Theres a reason that employers have been offering health benefits voluntarily for decades, Fronstin said.
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Health Care Costs Are Still Rising Faster Than Workers Can Keep Up
According to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average annual premium for families and individuals increased to $16,351 and$5,884,respectively, in 2013. Both costs have risen more than twice as fast as wage growth (1.8%) and four times as fast as inflation (1.1%). The big picture is even tougher to digest. Health premiums shot up more than 80% over the last decade, the report shows, for both employers and employees. Businesses have seen their costs rise 80% since 2003, while their employees now pay 89% more for health care. On top of that, today more than one-third of workers are enrolled in health plans that come with at least a $1,000 deductible, meaning they are out a thousand bucks before their insurance even kicks in, Kaiser found. There’s at least one positive side to the report, however.
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