States Plan to Cover Kids Under New Health Plans

January 7, 2007    

According to the Compensation Data annual survey of more than 5,300 employers, 41.2 percent of families, who are covered by employer-sponsored plans, can expect to pay over $250 for their monthly health insurance premiums.

Health insurance costs continue to rise, and both employers and employees are feeling the pinch. State governments, like California, Minnesota and Wisconsin, are among those who have recently expressed interest in adopting plans to offer some form of statewide health insurance. According to the Compensation Data annual survey of more than 5,300 employers, 41.2 percent of families, who are covered by employer-sponsored plans, can expect to pay over $250 for their monthly health insurance premiums.

Seventy-five percent of employees on those plans spend more than $1,800 a year to provide health insurance for their families, increasing 6.6 percent from last year. In comparison, the majority of employers, 78.6 percent, paid more than $450 per participating family in monthly health insurance premiums or $5,400 annually on flat amount plans.

Families are given little reprieve in their annual deductibles. The largest percentage of plans offered, 47.4 percent, provide an annual deductible of $900 or more. After deductibles are satisfied, 50.9 percent of employees on PPO plans are responsible for 16 to 20 percent of co-insurance or basic services. In comparison, 25.3 percent of those on HMO plans spend the same percentage on those services.

“While some states are considering new ways to provide health care coverage, the cost of health insurance remains high for working families and organizations,” said Amy Kaminski, manager of marketing programs for Compdata Surveys. “It remains to be seen whether legislation will help to lower health insurance costs for those with access to it.”

Statewide Health Insurance
While Governor Schwarzenegger has drawn media attention for his proposed California health insurance reform, many other states have already begun to develop programs of their own. Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine have recently enacted policies to facilitate major health care reform. Other states, including Arkansas, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Utah, are turning to public-private partnerships.

Statewide coverage for uninsured children has become a hot topic in recent news. Some states are proposing plans to follow in Illinois’ footsteps, which debuted “All Kids” in July 2006. The plan offers free and reduced health insurance to kids who do not have access to it. Pennsylvania recently signed a bill to expand the health care coverage offered under their Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) with a new plan called “Cover All Kids” which aims to provide insurance to those who are not covered.

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