Health insurance costing employers more

More workers could find themselves in the market for private health insurance as small businesses continue to struggle with the growing cost of coverage.

More workers could find themselves in the market for private health insurance as small businesses continue to struggle with the growing cost of coverage.

Recent data from the Kaiser Family Foundation notes that the cost of premiums has jumped 131 percent over the past decade, and that the average employer provided family plan costs $13,375, with businesses picking up much of that cost.

The report also noted that about 60 percent of companies offer health benefits to their workers, with the smaller firms less likely to offer such coverage. A number of other firms have also reported scaling back their benefits in the past year.

"When health care costs continue to rise so much faster than overall inflation in a bad recession, workers and employers really feel the pain," said Drew Altman, CEO of the Kaiser Foundation.

The recession has hit companies of all sizes particularly hard, which further strains business owners who are struggling to maintain health benefits for their workers. Still, those who do find themselves shopping around for private health insurance should find various options that can fit a wide variety of budgets.

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Posted: October 1, 2009

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