US Companies to Deal With Steeper Healthcare Cost in 2011

US companies will have to deal with steeper medical cost by 2011 as the new healthcare reform bill passed by the Congress earlier this year takes effect.

However, consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers said that at least 50 percent of the companies in the country will pass the burden to its employees rather than pay for deductibles.

A new report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers on Monday said that US companies offering health insurance for their employees will find the jump in medical cost “very heavy” on their pockets, leading to bigger share of expenses to their workers.

Starting next year, US employees will have to shoulder bigger chunks of healthcare deductibles, which could reach as high as $400 or more as companies refused to pay medical cost out of their own pockets.

Deductible are annual payments made by employees for healthcare plans before the insurance coverage starts. It is also separate from the co-payments and coinsurance that their companies offer to them, the consulting firm said in its report.

Based on the report, the number of US companies asking their employees to personally pay the deductibles grew by 43 percent in 2010 from just 25 percent two years ago. PricewaterhouseCoopers expected the number to climb above the 50 percent level by 2011 after the new healthcare reform bill goes into full implementation.

The consulting firm also said that the passing of the burden from employers to employees will be a trend among many of the companies operating in the US to help their expenses in check.

According to the company, despite little impact in the companies’ operations expenses, the medical cost will be surging by more 10 percent.


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