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Some employers may drop employee health insurance

Posted On Fri, May 21, 2010

A Wall Street Journal report revealed that a number of large U.S. companies are considering cutting the health care they provide employees, because it would be cheaper for them to pay the government fines.

Companies like AT&T, Verizon, John Deere and Caterpillar have conducted studies that found they could save billions by paying the government $2,000 per uninsured employee rather than fronting the money for that employee's health insurance. AT&T found that it could save $1.8 billion a year by simply paying the fines, the report said.

While this would likely increase employees' take-home pay, the cost of insurance to an individual is probably far more than the increase in the size of their paycheck, even with the new health insurance exchange intended to provide affordable care.

While not all employers are likely to drop their employees' health insurance, a Reuters study found many believe their health care costs will rise under the Obama plan, and some have been struggling to ascertain just what their costs will be. While 40 percent believe their costs will increase 2 percent or less, and another 25 percent believe the increase will be 3 percent or more, 30 percent said they just don't know yet.ADNFCR-2297-ID-19792902-ADNFCR

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