Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Employees Beware: Higher premiums are coming your way

Yesterday's economic empowerment course focused on the job offer, which was divided into two main topics: what criteria should encourage the decision to accept a new job and when we should consider declining the offer. 

We all have different ambitions. One career path may not suit another, and the  professional route we take really relies on our values and needs. We talked about how these factors are critical when choosing a job offer. Another factor is what benefit do we expect to gain from working for one company over another. One scenario was painted: Company A was competitive in pay and promotion. It was a large, growing company with endless career opportunities, but working there would come at a financial cost. Among other things, workers were expected to carry the burden of higher health insurance premiums. It was a concern that alarmed the women: who wants to work for a company that eats away at their take-home pay? Turns out they have reason to worry. 

A new report on the cost of employer-sponsored health plans released by Kaiser Family Foundation shows that workers are now paying four percent more than the prior year on premiums. To offset the expected higher costs of implementing Obamacare, many businesses are now investing less in insurance and forcing employees to pay more. 

Four percent may sound small but it's a big cost when you really think about it. On average, over $16,000 in premiums were paid this year, and one fourth of that was paid by employees. And Obamacare has not officially rolled out, which means if the price of health coverage continues to rise, companies will only pass that price tag along to workers. 

The vote was unanimous. If forced to choose between Company A and the alternative lower paying Company B, that picked up the tab, the girls would opt for the second employer. For those companies choosing the path of higher premiums for employees, take note: where you may save in health care costs, it will come at the expense of losing your workforce to competitors, which will eventually raise the cost of
hiring and retaining new employees. The choice is yours. 


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