Do you know how much you pay for your health insurance? Almost all of my clients know very well the cost of their health insurance, however, people who work for large companies are usually unaware of the total cost of insurance. They know how much comes out of their paycheck each pay period, but that’s about it.
This year — as a result of the Affordable Care Act — employers with 250 or more employees are required to disclose the total cost of health insurance on W2s, not just the employee portion of the premium. The awareness of how much health insurance really costs will open a lot of eyes! I meet so many people who are completely unaware of this number; they just know their premiums go up each year (and benefit levels go down). Disclosure of this information will help people understand the big picture a little better. That’s not to say that they will be happier at renewal time, just more informed!
To read more about this new disclosure requirement, please read this informative article: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/02/03/4047538/look-at-your-w-2-to-see-what-health.html
My health insurance clients are mostly small business owners or those who do not have employer-sponsored coverage. They know the cost of their coverage and I help them shop for better rates when their premiums increase. This holds true for my Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage clients. Also, people on COBRA are usually painfully aware of their insurance premiums!
My clients who are employers are also very tuned into the cost of health insurance. Some of these clients are the most generous people I know. They offer coverage to their employees even though they are not required to do so.
Many of my clients opt for a personal plan because their employer-sponsored coverage is too expensive. Most commonly, the employee keeps their coverage since the employer typically pays 50% of their portion of the premium or higher. However, dependent coverage is often paid entirely by the employee. If the dependents (spouse and/or children) are healthy, with no serious pre-existing condition, then they can usually find much more affordable coverage in the personal plans market.
Hopefully, the new disclosure requirements will prompt people to be more proactive in finding lower cost alternatives. Transparency — whether it is for premiums or health care costs — is always beneficial for consumers!