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Many employers plan to alter health insurance policies

Posted On Wed, August 10, 2011

A recent survey conducted by Colonial Life highlights a number of changes employers across the United States intend to make regarding health insurance policies. Alterations to industry regulations and widespread economic issues are some of the driving actors behind the upcoming changes.

Nearly half of the surveyed employers reported their intentions to add voluntary insurance benefits to their policies that wouldn't be covered under traditional medical insurance rates. Fifty-one percent of companies stated that they would be increasing the premiums paid by employees, and 49 percent said they would be increasing deductibles or co-pays.

"Not surprisingly, employee benefits have taken a hit as companies wrestle with the rising cost of providing health coverage to their workforce," said Colonial Life's president and CEO, Randy Horn. "Offering voluntary products that complement core benefits can help companies better manage their costs. Voluntary plans can also give employees a convenient and affordable way to protect their families and lifestyles."

Close to 100 percent of the employers surveyed said that their employees needed guidance in making sound benefits decisions and education regarding changes in programs, but only 23 percent said that their company's efforts are effective.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2009, 16.7 percent of Americans were without health insurance coverage, an increase from 15.4 percent in 2008.

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