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DMMHealthcare Costs

DMMHealthcare Costs

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Published by Donna Marbury

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Published by: Donna Marbury on Dec 17, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/17/2012

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Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=209840Story Retrieval Date: 11/5/2012 9:15:29 PM CST
Courtesy of Divya Mohan Little Divya Mohan Little and her husband, Corey, hope that the Affordable Care Act will be a solution for their health-care cost issues.
Employers are paying more for health-care costs
by 
DONNA M. MARBURY
Oct 31, 2012 
Divya Mohan Little had to be strategic when it came to keeping her family
ʼ
s health careaffordable. “I'm lucky enough to be employed by an organization that values access to high qualityaffordable health care,” said Little, communications director of Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition.“However, my husband is a recent law school graduate and if I were to cover him under my plan, it would beabout a quarter of my paycheck.” He is currently uninsured but is looking for a less expensive alternative.Little says health-care costs also are a big issue with many of her colleagues. Some of them have medicaland dental plans that cost up to $500 a month and cut into their quality of life. “I have other friends who areworking in temporary or contract positions who choose to forgo health care because it isn't affordable,” shesays. “That is cost prohibitive with many nonprofit salaries, especially for those just starting out in theindustry.”Many U.S. workers are feeling the pinch in their pocket books as health-care costs continue to outpacegrowth in wages and salaries, according to a government report released Wednesday. Employers paid 3percent more toward health-care benefits in the 12-month period ended Sept. 30, but wages only increased0.4 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
ʼ
Employment Cost Index.Worker benefits account for the largest increase in employee costs, rising 0.8 percent in the third quarterand 2.6 percent since last year.Economists say the gap between health-care costs and wages has been growing for years. Employer-sponsored family health coverage has increased at nearly four times the rate of wages and inflation since1999, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Education Trust.“Health-care costs are taking a big portion out of the budget for working families whose incomes are either
Employers are paying more for health-care costshttp://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=209...1 of 211/5/12 9:16 PM

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