New State Health Plans Include Children

Both employers and employees are feeling the pinch from rising health insurance costs. In the annual survey by Compensation Data of more than 5,300 employers, results show that 41.2 percent of families can expect to pay over $250 a month on premiums. California, Wisconsin and Minnesota are among the states that have announced an interest in plans to offer various forms of statewide health insurance coverage.

With 99.9 percent of employers offering health coverage to their employees, 75.6 percent of workers will spend between $1,800 and $3,000 a year for family health insurance, a 6.6 percent increase over last year. In comparison, 78.6 percent of employers paid more than $450 a month, per family, in health insurance premiums or $5,400 annually on flat amount plans.

Also, families are given only a slight reprieve on annual deductions. An annual deductible of $900 or more was offered by 47.4 percent of the plans and after the deductibles are met, 50.9 percent of employees on PPO plans are responsible for paying 16 to 20 percent of co-insurance on basic services. Just over 25 percent of those on HMO plans spend the same percentage on those services.

"While some states are considering new ways to provide health care coverage, the cost of health insurance remains high for working families and organizations. It remains to be seen whether legislation will help to lower health insurance costs for those with access to it," said Amy Kaminski, manager of marketing programs for Compdata Surveys.

Statewide coverage of uninsured children has been in the news often and some states are proposing plans to follow the 2006 Illinois "All Kids" program that offers free or reduced insurance to children without access to health insurance. A recently signed Pennsylvania bill expands coverage offered under the Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP) with a new plan, "Cover All Kids", to provide insurance to those not covered.

Compdata Surveys, the nation's leading compensation and benefits survey data provider, annually collects information from thousands of organizations in 39 states, coast to coast.

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