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Survey: Employers plan for hikes in health insurance rates

Rochester Business Journal
November 10, 2010

Area businesses responding to the Rochester Business Alliance Inc.’s employer survey expect an average 14.3 percent hike in health insurance rates.

More than 180 Rochester-area companies and organizations representing nearly 85,000 workers responded to the annual RBA health coverage survey.

Employers plan to employ a variety of strategies to cope with rate hikes. Among the survey’s findings:    

  • 17 percent plan to absorb the majority of rate hikes;
  • 10 percent plan to pass on the majority of the cost;
  • 15 percent plan to split the increase with employees;
  • 14 percent are considering reducing benefits or offering lower cost plans.

Local employers’ health coverage costs as a percentage of payroll declined marginally this year, dropping from 10.1 percent in 2009 to 10 percent. Dollar amounts contributed monthly by responding employers this year ranged from $276 for singles to $545 for two-person coverage and $647 for family plans.
Most respondents continue to pay half or more of their workers’ premium costs, the survey found. Employers on average said they paid 75 percent of single-person plan costs and 67 percent of two-person and family premiums. Twenty-two percent said they pay the full cost of single coverage for at least one plan, up from 16 percent a year ago.

Coverage for part-time workers continues to be high in the area with 67 percent of respondents saying they offer health insurance to part timers. A majority of respondents—53 percent—said they offer domestic partner coverage. 

Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they offered employees cash incentives to opt out of their health plans with bonus offers averaging $1,076.       
(c) 2010 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail

What You're Saying 

Lee Drake at 9:13:49 AM on 11/11/2010
I don't know who you surveyed, but if you had limited the survey to only small business owners who cannot self-insure the rates would be more like 30% average increase. MVP canceled one of my policies and raised rates on the other by 40%. If you look at EPO/PPO community r...  Read More >

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