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Health Insurance Premiums Rise 6.1 Percent in 2007, Less Rapidly Than in Recent Years But Still Faster Than Wages and Inflation

nd $43 for

non-preferred drugs. Co-payments for fourth-tier drugs, which

may include costly biological agents and lifestyle drugs,

averaged $71.

-- Domestic partner benefits. Nearly half (47 percent) of all

firms that offer health benefits make them available to

unmarried opposite-sex domestic partners, and nearly 37

percent offer such benefits to same-sex partners.

Interestingly, large firms (with at least 200 workers) were

less likely than small firms to offer domestic partner

benefits to unmarried opposite-sex partners at 28 percent.

-- Market share of health plans. Preferred Provider Organizations

continue to dominate the employer market, enrolling 57 percent

of covered workers. Health Maintenance Organizations cover

another 21 percent of workers, with 13 percent in

Point-of-Service plans, 5 percent in consumer-driven plans,

and 3 percent in conventional indemnity plans.

-- Other pre-tax benefits. Overall, 61 percent of firms that

offer health benefits allow workers to use pre-tax dollars to

pay for their share of their health premium costs. Fewer firms

(22 percent) offer a Flexible Spending Account, in which workers

can set aside pre-tax money to cover out-of-pocket health care

spending. In both cases, large firms (200 or more workers)

are far more likely to offer these benefits than smaller firms.

-- Future outlook. Many employers indicate that they expect to

make significant changes to their health plans and benefits

in 2008. Overall, 21 percent of firms say they are "very

likely" to raise workers' premium contribution next year. Some

firms also say they are "very likely" to increase office visit

cost-sharing (13 percent), increase deductibles (12 percent) and

increase prescription drug cost

SOURCE Kaiser Family Foundation; HRET
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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