"Despite the economic expansion that added 2 million new jobs from April 2006 to April 2007, the employer-based system can do no better than tread-water," said co-author Jon Gabel, senior fellow at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. "It makes one ask, 'What will happen during the next economic downturn?'"
Worker Contributions and Cost-Sharing
Covered workers on average pay 16 percent of the overall premiums for single coverage and 28 percent for family coverage - shares that have remained relatively stable over the past years. However, workers in small firms (three to 199 workers) pay significantly more on average toward the cost of family coverage ($4,236 annually) compared to larger firms ($2,831 annually). For single coverage, the opposite is true, with workers at small firms annually contributing less on average than workers at large firms ($561 vs. $759).
Among firms that offer health benefits, 10 percent vary how much workers contribute based on the workers' earnings, about the same share as in 2005. About 6 percent of firms vary premium contributions based on employees' participation in wellness programs, up from 3 percent in 2005. In addition, 10 percent of firms offer financial incentives for workers to enroll in a spouse's health plan, which can reduce the firm's health care costs.
Other findings include:
-- Cost-sharing. In 2007, for firms with deductibles, the
average general annual deductible for single coverage is
$461 for PPOs, $401 for HMOs, $621 for POS plans and $1,729
for consumer-driven plans. For plans with three- or
four-tiered drug cost-sharing, the average co-payments were
$11 for generic drugs, $25 for preferred drugs, a
|SOURCE Kaiser Family Foundation; HRET|
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