Rising Health Premiums Squeeze Benefits At Small Employers
Nineteen percent of small employers that offer health insurance changed their health benefits in 2002, according to a new survey co-sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington.
Twenty-six percent of the small employers increased the scope of their health coverage. But 65% increased workers co-payments or deductibles, 35% switched carriers, 30% raised the employees share of the premiums and 29% cut back on the package of benefits offered.
Some employers told researchers they have coped with rising health coverage costs by reducing or eliminating pay raises or bonuses, reducing other employee benefits or delaying investments.
But the news is not all bad for the agents selling the health coverage, says EBRIs Paul Fronstin, who wrote a survey report that appears in the January EBRI Issue Brief.