Corporate CEOs may be stingy when it comes to sharing profits, but they're apparently more than happy to share the rising costs of health insurance with their workers.
The annual survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust finds that workers are shouldering an ever larger share of their health insurance costs as companies tighten their belts to tough out a stubbornly stalled economy.
According to the survey, workers with health insurance now pay an average of 30 percent of the premium for family coverage, up 3 percent from last year, while those with single coverage pony up 19 percent of the premium, up 2 percent from last year. For family coverage, employees paid an average of $3,997, up $482 from last year, while employers chipped in an average of $9,773, down $87.
Employee premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage rose an average of 13.7 percent this year, while the amount employers contribute for health insurance fell by 0.9 percent.
Employee premium payments have gone up 47 percent since 2005, while overall premiums have risen 27 percent, the study shows.
Kaiser CEO Drew Altman says that while companies still pay 70 percent of the total premium, this year they passed their health insurance premium increases on to their employees rather than absorbing them as they have in the past.
Given the widespread layoffs, pay cuts and persistent double-digit unemployment in many parts of the country, employees have little bargaining power to protest such practices.
But Altman seized the occasion to state the obvious: "The coverage that employees get is looking less and less like the coverage that their parents used to get," he sold the Associated Press.
What's in your wallet (or not)? Have you been forced to shoulder a greater share of your health insurance premium in the past year?
And the question your boss may not have asked: How do you feel about it?