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Life Health > Health Insurance > Health Insurance

The Catch: Workers Feel Trapped

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Worker rage continues to burn.

Right Management, Philadelphia, a human resources firm, discusses North American employee fury in a summary of results from a recent online survey of 1,077 workers in the United States and Canada.

The percentage of participating workers who said they will actively seek new jobs in the coming year increased to 84% this year.

The percentage of workers wanting to change jobs is the same as in 2010 but up from 60% in 2009.

About 5% of workers said they definitely intend to stay in their current positions. That figure is the same as in 2010 but down from 13% in 2009.

Bram Lowsky, an executive vice president at Right Management, says the economic slump has reduced job mobility.

“Employees are restless and feel they are lacking in options,” Lowsky says.

The high level of distrust indicates that many workers, including top performers, lack confidence in their companies’ managers, Lowsky says.

Companies that actually want to keep some of their workers when the economy improves should probably start talking to those workers now and figure out how to get them to stay, Lowsky says.


Bob Turner, head of Turner Investments Partners Inc., Berwyn, Pa., an investment firm with $12 billion in assets under management, says consumers’ fear of health care costs could be bad for health care providers, such as for-profit hospital companies, and good for big health insurers, such as Aetna Inc., Hartford (NYSE:AET), and UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn. (NYSE:UNH).

“Lagging consumer confidence is inhibiting people from seeking the health care they need,” Turner writes in a new commentary. “Even though the unemployment rate has dropped to about 9%, down from its recent peak of 10.1%, our research shows that a lack of consumer confidence — as manifested in people’s worries about job security — is keeping patients from seeking treatment. Patients are putting off doctor’s visits, drug prescriptions, surgeries, and other medical procedures until they perceive that a more stable job market in particular and more stable economic conditions in general prevail….We call this The New Abnormal for the health-care sector in the near term.”

Turner cites reports indicating the volume of patient visits to doctors’ offices is down 8% from a year ago and that a hospital’s surgical admission volume fell 1.4% during the third quarter.


Joel Ario, the former director of the Office of Health Insurance Exchanges at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is now managing director of Manatt Health Solutions, Washington, an arm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips L.L.P.

Manatt is known as a law firm with strong ties to the Democratic Party.

Ario, a former Pennsylvania insurance commissioner and former Oregon insurance administrator, served on the executive committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) from 2001 to 2010.

He has a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College, a master’s degree in divinity from Harvard University, and a law degree from Harvard.


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