NU Online News Service, April 17, 11:04 a.m. – Digital Research Inc., Kennebunk, Me., says nearly half of the employees it surveyed who had health insurance had to pay for medical services out of their own pockets.

Only 53% of the employee surveyed said their health plans met all of their health care needs, and 41% reported spending more than $500 per year on services not covered by their health plans, Digital Research says.

The employees also predicted that costs would continue to increase, and that they would end up paying a rising share of the costs, Digital Research says.

The study was sponsored by HealthAllies.com Inc., Glendale, Calif., a company that distributes voluntary benefits through Web-based sales systems.