Survey: Fewer Calif. Employers Offer Health Benefits for Workers
Fewer California businesses provided health insurance to their workers last year, according to the annual California Employer Health Benefits Survey released by the California HealthCare Foundation, the Los Angeles Times reports. CHCF publishes California Healthline.
The survey polled 770 benefit managers at private companies from July to October 2011.
The percentage of employers in CaliforniaÂ that offer their workers health insurance has fallen in the past two years from 73% to 63%, according to the survey.
Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance policies have risen by 153.5% since 2002, the survey found. That increase is more than five times the increase in California's inflation rate.
The survey also found that:
- 36% of California companies reported being "very" or "somewhat" likely to raise employees' share of health insurance premiums this year;Â and
- About 25% of employers either reduced health benefits or increased employee cost sharing in 2011.
Factors Behind Rising Costs
Patrick Johnston, president of the California Association of Health Plans, said higher premiums stem from factors such as expensive clinical technology, the increase in chronic health conditions and an aging population.
Johnston added that years of reducing Medi-Cal reimbursements to physicians have led to a "cost shift" that must be "made up in negotiations for higher rates for commercial payers such as employers." Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Lifsher, Los Angeles Times, 1/4).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.