A story in the Wall Street Journal today describes new health plans that provide fixed premiums for employers. The plans, geared toward small- to medium-sized businesses, the businesses to sign a fixed-price contract with an insurer for a few years. But insurers have to make up the money somehow — and that’s where the concept of sharing — or not — comes in.
Under the plans, worker deductibles could soar between $50 to $2,500. Co-pays for visits would increase as well.
So while the business’ prices are fixed; employees’ aren’t.
As it is now, both businesses and employees alike share in the pain of rapidly increasing costs. A survey last month showed premiums are increasing 8.7 percent. Employees are paying a total of 10 percent more for premiums plus out-of-pocket costs.
This new arrangement shifts all increases solely onto the shoulders of the employees.
So what happened to shared responsibility?