Annual report for Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky region shows employee health care costs there will go up about $400 next year

In an continuing effort to move health costs off the shoulders of employers and onto employees, workers in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will likely pay an average $4,775 out of their own pockets for health care in 2013 — about $400 more than this year. That’s nearly $2,000 more than they paid in 2007. The payments include premiums through their employer, as well as office co-pays and deductibles, said Aon Hewitt, the consultant that produced its annual cost report.

These payments are slightly less than the national average of $4,814.

The trend toward “more employee accountability” means that nearly all companies are adjusting the designs of their employee plans, adding wellness programs and moving more employees to high-deductible plans with health savings accounts, reports Cliff Peale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Penalties are now common for workers who smoke or who don’t take required health screenings.

The report notes that companies continue to bear most of the cost of their employees’ health insurance. It also predicts that, counting the portion paid by both companies and workers, the cost of a health care policy will increase 6.4 percent next year to $11,566.

That should return the region to numbers more aligned with the national average. About half of all Americans still get benefits through their employers, and there are nearly 50 million without health insurance at all.
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