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Workers Have to Cough Up More for their Healthcare


Aired 4/19/09


The economic downturn is taking its toll on employer-based health insurance. A new survey shows nearly a third of large companies plan to raise workers' health insurance deductibles an average of 14 percent this year. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.


Analysts say ten years ago, companies covered an average of 90 percent of their workers' healthcare expenses. Today, that's fallen to 73 percent. That means employees are paying higher deductibles, co-pays, and other out-of-pocket costs.


Jerry Flanagan is with the non-profit group Consumer Watchdog . He says things are especially bad in California.


Jerry Flanagan: We have a system where there's 36 million Californians who want healthcare, and only five companies that control about 80 percent of the market. As a result of that, we see some of the largest rate increases. Large rate increases mean more costs being pushed onto the worker.


To make matters worse, about two out of ten Californians are uninsured. That number is expected to rise this year.


Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.



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