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Survey Reveals Disturbing Trends In Employer-Provided Health Benefits

Aired 1/27/14 on KPBS News.

One in four California employers say they reduced health benefits last year and asked workers to pay more for them.

The survey shows 61 percent of California employers offered health benefits last year. That’s compared with 73 percent in 2008.

The California HealthCare Foundation conducted the survey. The Foundation’s Maribeth Shannon said it will interesting to see what happens next year.

“Because with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, we do expect we’ll see more employers choosing the path that, for example, Target just announced, that they were dropping their part-time employees, and encouraging those employees to sign up through the exchange,” Shannon explained.

Annual deductibles of $1,000 or more for single coverage have become more common in small and mid-size firms.

California workers paid an average of $5,200 towards their employer-provided family coverage last year.

Over the last eleven years, premiums for family coverage in the state have increased by 185 percent. That's more than five times the rate of inflation.

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