Study shows slower rise in job-based health costs
A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. 45 To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs This story is part of Barack Obama David Jackson, USA TODAY 9:09 a.m. EDT August 22, 2013 President Obama Kathleen Sebelius SHARE 111 CONNECT 47 TWEET 45 COMMENTEMAILMORE President Obama held a video conference Wednesday with directors of state-based health insurance marketplaces that come on line in October. Obama “recognized that the diligence, creativity, and commitment of those working in the states to set up the marketplaces, which open on October 1st, have been especially important given the limitations on time, resources, staff, and in some states, support from across the political spectrum,” said a White House statement. Indeed, some conservative Republicans are trying to block funding for the exchanges and other aspects of the Obama health care plan. Obama spoke to the group along with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. A White House readout: “The president and administration officials including Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius held a videoconference today with directors of State-based health insurance Marketplaces.
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UPS Ending Health Coverage for Spouses Signals Cost Cuts
The survey found that lower-wage employees tend to contribute more for their employer-based insurance than higher-paid workers. “The perception that people have is people still feel the pain of health care costs,” said study lead author Gary Claxton, director of the foundation’s health care marketplace project. “That does not call into question that this is a modest rise in premiums this is good news.” Since 2003, health care premiums have risen 80%, the study showed. Wages have risen only 31% and inflation has gone up 27% in that same period. In the last year, the study showed that premiums for families averaged $16,351, with workers paying about $4,565 toward their premiums. Wages went up 1.8% and general inflation increased 1.1% over the last year.
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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.
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