KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Survey: Companies Continue Shift Of Health Costs To Workers

The main way companies are seeking to curb health care costs is by moving workers into high-deductible health plans, according to the survey by the National Business Group on Health. Nearly a third are offering such plans as the only option to their workers in 2015, the survey found.

Reuters:  U.S. Benefits Enrollment Season To Bring More Cost Cutting
When benefits enrollment season arrives this fall, employees around the country can expect to see the impact of corporate cost-cutting on their finances. Benefits costs will rise only 5 percent for employers that take certain cost-reduction measures, instead of 6.5 percent for companies that do not, according to a June survey of employers representing 7.5 million workers by the National Business Group on Health. Although costs are not rising as quickly, employees are still being squeezed. The main way companies are keeping healthcare costs in line is by shifting workers into high-deductible health plans, defined by the Internal Revenue Service as having deductibles above $1,250 for an individual (Pinsker, 8/13).

Fox News: Report: Companies Desperate To Avoid Obamacare ‘Cadillac Tax’ Shifting Costs To Workers
A  national business group representing the nation’s large employers reported Wednesday that companies desperate to avoid a 40 percent ObamaCare “Cadillac tax” are finding ways to shift the costs to workers. The so-called “Cadillac tax,” now four years away, will affect health plans that spend more than $10,200 per worker (Angle, 8/14).

Kaiser Health News: 16% Of Large Employers Plan To Offer Low-Benefit 'Skinny' Plans Despite ACA: Survey
Nearly one company in six in a new survey from a major employer group plans to offer health coverage that doesn't meet the Affordable Care Act's requirements for value and affordability. Many thought such low-benefit "skinny plans" would be history once the health law was fully implemented this year. Instead, 16 percent of large employers in a survey released Wednesday by the National Business Group on Health said they will offer in 2015 lower-benefit coverage along with at least one health plan that does qualify under ACA standards (Hancock, 8/13).

CQ Healthbeat: Companies Jockey to Avoid 2018 Tax on Health Plans
Many companies are changing their health benefits to try to avoid a tax slated to hit in 2018 on more generous insurance coverage, a survey found. The National Business Group on Health on Wednesday released results from a survey of 136 companies, most of which have more than 10,000 employees. The survey found that almost a third, 32 percent of those surveyed, plan to offer high-deductible, or consumer driven, health plans. Only 22 percent have done so this year (Young, 8/13).

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