Cost of Employer-Based Health Coverage in L.A. Rises 4.5% in 2013
The cost for Los Angeles employers to provide work-based health insurance increased by 4.5% this year, according to a survey by benefits consulting firm Mercer, the Los Angeles Times' "Money & Co." reports.
Mercer's annual survey included 200 California employers and more than 2,800 businesses nationwide.
Details of Findings
In Los Angeles, employers' health care costs increased to $11,625 per worker in 2013, compared with a 2.1% increase nationally to $10,779 per employee.
Employers are expecting health care costs to increase by more than 5% next year as the Affordable Care Act is implemented.
To mitigate such costs, Mercer said large employers are:
- Increasing employee contributions for coverage;
- Imposing surcharges for spousal coverage when the spouse has coverage available elsewhere;
- Eliminating spousal coverage, which 7% of large employers already have done; and
- Promoting high-deductible health plans with health savings accounts.
Such consumer-directed plans generally cost about 17% less than a PPO and 20% less than an HMO.
In Los Angeles, more than 50% of businesses enroll their workers in HMO plans, on which employers spend an average of $105 monthly per worker. Los Angeles employers pay about $159 monthly per worker in PPO plans (Terhune, "Money & Co.," Los Angeles Times, 11/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.