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Survey: Employers plan for hikes in health insurance rates

By WILL ASTOR - 11/10/2010 3:20:42 PM

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:    

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.       
    
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