Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Losing health benefits? Study blames recession

If your employer provides health insurance,  you're probably paying more for less  --  and wondering who's to blame.  The Affordable Care Act has contributed to rising costs by mandating certain types of coverage,  allowing many adult children to stay on parents'  policies and levying a 2018 tax on high-cost  "Cadillac plans."

But the trend toward reducing benefits and dropping health insurance altogether was in full swing before the act kicked in this year, according to a recent analysis by the University of Minnesota’s State Health Access Data Assistance Center and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Before to the recession, the research shows that employer coverage was fairly stable.  Between 2004-05 and 2008-09,  for instance,  North and South Carolina,  like most of the country,  saw no significant change in the percent of employers offering health insurance.  But the rates dropped from 2008-09,  the start of the recession,  to 2012-13.  In North Carolina it went from 53 percent to 47 percent,  and in South Carolina from 54 percent to 47 percent.  Most of that decline has come from companies with fewer than 50 employees.

That's consistent with what I've heard.  For instance,  I wrote last fall about Charlotte's Blue Max Materials,  a small employer,  dropping health insurance in the face of rising costs.  Meanwhile,  the owner of Stafford Cutting Dies bumped up deductibles dramatically to cope with skyrocketing costs for a small-business policy.

“Most Americans still get health insurance through their jobs, but this has been declining for more than a decade,” said Katherine Hempstead, who directs coverage issues at the foundation. “It will be interesting to see how that trend evolves now that there are more opportunities for coverage through the individual market and Medicaid.”

The report includes detailed breakdowns for each state.


John said...

"But the trend toward reducing benefits and dropping health insurance altogether was in full swing before the act kicked in this year,"

Uh, you do realize that some portions of the AFA began taking affect in 2010, so no...

Nice try on the spin!

Larry said...

I too thought no way a law which was voted in by only the democrats and described by one as knowing what is in it will be divulged after it is passed.

A law that even the person who is considered the architect of the law, calls it so bad that we would not even understand how bad it is.

And finally a law which was sold as anything but a tax was only adjudicated as being law if it is a tax.

So with all of this how could one even blame anything on this obamacare thing, why it is so wonderful that they will one day sing rap and other sweet songs about it.

Anonymous said...

I love it when an article presents cold, hard facts, and then people present falsehoods to try to discredit it. If they wanted to know what's in it before it passed, they should have read it. Duh! And while it may not be perfect, to say the architect thinks it's that bad is just ludicrous. Bad for those who don't like the idea maybe. And finally, I don't understand the whole aversion to the mandatory part of it. If you want to drive a car, you have to have insurance or you face a penalty. Calling it a tax is really just a way to inflame the right.

*que beatbox*

Obama cares,
stop the hatin stares.
People gettin the cure,
that's the plan's allure.
What? Hey!
Let the haters hate.
Let them go crazy
and rant irate.
Awwww yeeeeaaah boy!
(Boom Boom Boom) Obama cares...... (Boom Boom Boom) Obama cares!

Thomas said...

So things were getting bad & Obamacare made them worse? If Obama wasn't a lair they would have saved $2400 remember? Instead it caused huge premiums increases. Obamacare is a failure & just highlights Obama's lack of leadership in all areas.