California sees big increases in employer-based health insurance costs, but other states fare worse, report says
Business owners concerned about the rising cost of insurance in California might find a new study about healthcare costs enlightening and jarring.
The report, by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, finds that the price for a California employer to provide family coverage rose 39% from 2003-2009. Other states saw even larger increases.
That’s no surprise to Liz Parker, co-owner of Tulsa Rib Co. in Orange. She once paid 100% of the cost of premiums for her 14 full-time employees and their dependents. But rising insurance costs prompted her to ask her workers pick up more of the cost of coverage for their loved ones –10% initially and, then, 50% this year.
“It is a horrible situation,” Parker said, adding that she may have to stop offering employees insurance altogether within four to five years if rates maintain their rapid rise. “We’ll have to tell them they don’t have a job or they don’t have insurance,” she said.
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-- Duke Helfand