Thursday, September 09, 2004

Paying more for less. Seems to be the American way.
Health care costs continued to surge this year as family premiums in employer-sponsored plans jumped 11.2 percent, the fourth year of double-digit growth, according to a new study.

The cumulative effect of rising health care costs is taking a toll on workers: There are at least 5 million fewer jobs providing health insurance in 2004 than there were in 2001, according to the survey of 3,017 companies by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust.

This year, 63 percent of firms offered health benefits to workers, down from 68 percent in 2001. The change is primarily driven by a decrease in the number of small firms, those with 3 to 199 workers, that offer coverage.

. . . the hike in health premiums outpaced both the 2.2 percent growth in wages and 2.3 percent growth in inflation by five times.
Recall that the year-over-year growth in the value of private sector benefits in 2004:II was a whopping 7.3% in nominal terms, a level not seen in twenty years. However, it is becoming more and more clear that this money is not buying workers anything more than they had in the past, only higher prices for the same medical care they've been receiving all along.

Or as the case may be, for the medical care they had been receiving, but no more.


At 3:23 AM, Blogger Rob said...

Hi, I enjoy your blog here. Any others? Keep up the good blogs.

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