Cost of Health Insurance Continues to Soar

There is more bad news for both employers and employees. A new survey released this week shows that the cost of health insurance in the U.S. continues to rise, and the rate of growth doesn't seem to be letting up at all.

The survey, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust, shows the cost of health insurance rose 13.9% in the last 12 months - the largest increase in over a decade.

The survey also shows that health care premiums have risen each of the last seven years, and this is the third year in a row that the annual rate of increase is above 10%.

"A key finding, which is not entirely surprising but is still terribly important for employers and workers and the economy, is that we did not find any letup in the rate of increase of health care costs in 2003," said Drew E. Altman, chief executive of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Other major findings include:

  • Many employers plan to charge their employers more for health insurance next year.

  • Two-thirds of employers are seeking alternatives to help reduce their costs.

  • Most employers continue to view health care coverage as an important component of their benefits package and do not anticipate dropping it from the mix.

  • The percentage of companies that offer ongoing health care coverage for their retirees continues to be in decline.

  • Insurance premium cost sharing by employees will be higher and will be progressively more complex.

Highlights of the survey can be accessed on the Kaiser Family Foundation Web site.

You may like these other stories...

IRS audits less than 1 percent of big partnershipsAccording to an April 17 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the IRS audits fewer than 1 percent of large business partnerships, Stephen Ohlemacher of the...
Is it time to consider a value added tax?Forbes contributor Joseph Thorndike wrote yesterday that he believes the tax reform proposal by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) was dead on arrival. But he...
Read more from Larry Perry here and in the Today's World of Audits archive.The planning phase of an audit engagement of an entity using US GAAP or a special purpose framework will, with minor differences, include similar...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.