Saturday, May 23, 2009

McKinsey: Health care and US income disparities

As US health care costs rise, so do insurance premiums and the amount of money employers spend on them—from 1996 to 2005, the average contribution rose by 5 percent a year in real terms, to $5,068. Some employers are rescinding health care benefits altogether, while others are limiting the number of eligible employees, so enrollment in employer-paid schemes is stagnating or declining, according to a McKinsey Global Institute study. This research also reveals growing disparities in the percentage of employees at different income levels receiving employer-paid health benefits: only 22 percent of employees in the lowest income group (earning an average of $14,800 a year), but 56 percent, 81 percent, and 89 percent of those in the lower-middle, upper-middle, and top income groups, respectively.


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