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Employer Health Care Premiums Rise 5% in 2013

What is your approach to meeting the employer mandate to provide health insurance for your employees?  This portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2015, and requires employers with 50 or more FTEs to provide healthcare coverage.

What will that cost you?

A recent study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust and reported in the Wall Street Journal shows that the cost of health insurance premiums for a single worker grew 5% from 2012 to 2013, from $5,615 per year to $5,884.  It also showed that workers contributions to premiums were 18% of the cost of single coverage.

In another part of the study, 29% of large companies said they are considering shifting to a plan where they allot a set sum of money for each employee for health benefits, and the employee picks the coverage from a “private exchange.”  The survey also shows that higher deductible plans are popular, with 38% selecting an annual plan with a $1,000 deductible.

What to do about health care reform?

What to do about health care reform continues to be one of the biggest challenges for owners of home health agencies, hospice, and private duty home care companies.  The 2013 Private Duty Benchmark Study from Home Care Pulse and HCAOA shows the following responses to how agency owners plan to deal with the employer mandate:

  • Provide required health insurance – 18.7%
  • Drop my health plan and pay penalty – 1.9%
  • Pay the penalty, never offer insurance – 9.4%
  • Have not decided – 52.6%
  • Keep employees to less than 30 hours – 19.9%
  • Operate with less than 50 FTE – 17.4%
  • Other ?? – 4.2%

As you can see, there’s lots of uncertainty.  This survey was done in January and February 2013.  What’s your answer today?  Since then, the implementation of the employer mandate has been moved back a year to 2015.  What are you planning to do about healthcare reform what it takes effect in January, 2015?

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