Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Health care coverage continues to melt down

While Republicans scream about Democratic efforts to trim Medicare costs, working Americans' coverage continues to dissolve. Insurance Journal reports:

Aon Consulting, which surveyed 1,313 employers nationwide, found that 70 percent are planning to increase employee contributions and 67 percent are expecting to raise deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance or out-of-pocket maximums.

Add a bit of cold comfort:
In addition, more than half of employers are expecting to introduce or expand a wellness program next year, and 34 percent are planning to introduce or increase financial incentives for wellness programs in 2010.

Even more effective for employers than boosting employee payouts is trimming the rolls of the insured:

Employers have been implementing various types of audits as a short-term savings solution and the survey says more will follow suit. The survey found that 46 percent of organizations conducted a dependent eligibility verification audit in 2009 or earlier, and 20 percent are planning to do so in 2010 or later. These audits are designed to save on health care costs by ensuring only eligible dependents are covered.

"Employers who conduct dependent eligibility audits can see immediate savings ranging from 3 percent to 10 percent in dependent health care costs," said Tom Lerche, U.S. Health Care Practice Leader with Aon Consulting.

I wonder whether these roster trimmings fall disproportionately on gay couples?

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