Employer-sponsored Health Coverage – Big Impact

As more employers consider the increased cost of employee health insurance, the looming decision is whether or not to continue to offer coverage. “Between 2000 and 2011, the average annual employee-only premium more than doubled to $5,081 from $2,490. And during that period, the amount employees contributed toward premiums also skyrocketed, to $1,056 from $435,” according to an April 11 study published in Modern Healthcare entitled, “More employers dropping insurance.”

The study reveals employer-sponsored insurance dropped 10 percent over the same period, 2000-2011. So the lingering question is, “Do you stand to lose your employer-sponsored coverage?” At least one demographic, adults between the ages of 19 and 25, continued to see a rise in employer-sponsored coverage. No surprise there as this represents the government provision allowing those under 26 to remain on their parents’ insurance policy. For the rest of us, these are sobering times.

The future of employer-sponsored coverage is anybody’s guess. Rising costs result in fewer employers offering insurance and as premiums increase, more employees are opting not to participate. To throw in a caveat, when employees do not participate in employer-sponsored coverage, they are not required to submit personal health information or participate in employer-required wellness programs. Overall, this is a “lose-lose” situation.

Employees become sick with no program to offset the cost for care, hence, they stay off work longer and employers lose productive hours due to absent employees. As more employers increase health insurance premiums or stop offering health insurance altogether, you will be impacted. Consider yourself and your love ones and adapt lifestyle changes allowing you to stay healthy for as long as you can. A healthy life may be your only option. It’s a no-brainer! If you take the steps necessary to optimize your health, your dependence and reliance on a program that may cease to exist will be greatly diminished. Your quality of life and of those you care for depend on it.