Photo: Sarah Pack, Medical University of South Carolina
Leaving anyone uninsured during this viral pandemic increases the risk of spreading the disease. A warning report on Monday from the Urban Institute projects that an estimated 25 million to 43 million Americans may lose their employer-sponsored health insurance coverage in the coming months due to the economic effects of the new coronavirus.
In “How the COVID-19 Recession Could Affect Health Insurance Coverage,” UI senior fellow Bowen Garrett and research associate Anuj Gangopadhyaya base their estimate on the possibility that the unemployment rate could reach as high as 20%. The report was produced with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Continue reading
Companies that pay for employer-sponsored health insurance are continually seeking ways to cut health care costs and improve the care delivered to employees, their family members and retirees.
To accomplish these goals in 2020, employers will implement more virtual care, such as telemedicine, and will focus more on high-cost claims, according to a report from National Business Group on Health (NBGH). Continue reading
One of the largest and most important parts of our health care system is the role employers play in providing health insurance coverage for workers, retirees, and family members. U.S. employers cover 55.1% of Americans who have health insurance, according to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
By providing health insurance for more than half of all Americans, employers pay for the biggest share of health coverage in the United States. Continue reading
HHS has proposed a new rule that would make it easier for employers to help their workers cover medical expenses by using health reimbursement accounts (HRAs).
The proposal would allow employers to subsidize employees who buy their own health insurance either on or off the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. Employers who cover their workers — and that’s been more stable than many expected under the ACA — could give employees up to $1,800 a year (indexed to inflation) to finance HRAs, which are tax-advantaged accounts. That would go toward out-of-pocket costs. Continue reading
Remember all those stories about people being shifted into part-time work so their employers don’t have to provide health insurance?
According to a new Urban Institute report, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, it hasn’t happened.
If, and when, the employer mandate fully kicks in (more on that below) things could change. But the anecdotes we’ve heard about employers cutting hours because of the Affordable Care Act are just that – scattered anecdotes. (And when it does occur, it might be a result of other business conditions, not the health law). Under the ACA the definition of “full-time” work is 30 hours; anyone working 30 hours a week or more would have to be covered. The fear was that employers would cut them to, say, 28 or 29 hours, to avoid that obligation. Continue reading
A new report from Milliman, the actuarial firm, shows employers’ health care costs rose only 5.4 percent since last year. The report also showed how employers are changing their employee benefit plans to control costs.
Here are a few highlights from the 2014 Milliman Medical Index (MMI) report:
- The 5.4 percent rate of growth from last year to this year was the lowest annual change since Milliman produced its first MMI in 2002 and is down from 6.3 percent last year. The 5.4 percent is still higher than the rate of growth in the consumer price index (CPI). Continue reading