Terminated workers are paying an average of $429 a month this year for individual HMO coverage, compared to $399 for the same coverage in 2009, according to a survey conducted by Aon Consulting. COBRA coverage for an entire family now costs an average of $1,251, up from $1,171 per month at this time last year. With COBRA costs on the rise and the average unemployment check totaling less than $300 a week, a growing number of jobless Americans are no longer able to afford their health insurance plans.
Families are having to choose between having health insurance or keeping a roof over their head and food on the table. A family who has a member with medical needs is between a rock and a hard place.
John Zern, executive vice president and Health & Benefits Practice director with Aon Consulting, said the costs of COBRA are rising because so many people are using the system.
In an effort to spread the misery around:
Current employees should also expect to see their plans become more expensive in the next couple of years as employers shift the costs over to them. The Aon survey found that 65 percent percent of employers plan to increase cost-sharing in 2011 for deductibles, co-pays and out-of-pocket maximums, and 57 percent of companies polled said they will ask employees to contribute more for the overall cost of health care next year.
Cross-posted at MainSt/workingamerica.org