Friday, June 05, 2009

Workers' health costs up 34% in 3 years

Americans with job-based health insurance saw their protection from higher out-of-pocket costs erode between 2004 and 2007, especially those who were sick and of modest means, according to a new study.
"American families with employer-based coverage were worse off in 2007 than they were in 2004," said Jon Gabel, the lead author of the study, which was published June 2 on the Web site of medical journal Health Affairs (pdf file). "This is during a period of time when the economy was expanding."
"In the United States, if you are sick and earn a modest income, then you are probably underinsured, even if you have employer-based health coverage," the researchers wrote.

Overall, the recession may exacerbate the trend toward eroding financial protection as employers become more sensitive to the rising costs of workers' health insurance, Gabel said.

"I would expect to see significant increases in cost-sharing in the next few years at a time when households are going to be less able to pay for it," he said.

Read more at MSN Money

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