Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

What your boss thinks of health care reform

By Jen Haley, producer


NEW YORK (CNN) -- President Obama today signed sweeping health care reform legislation into law. But how do employers view the changes? And how could that impact your wallet?

Employers have been supportive of this reform -- that's according to Hewitt Associates -- a human resources consulting firm that's been helping companies understand health care reform.

CDs & Money Market
MMA 0.30%
$10K MMA 0.28%
6 month CD 0.39%
1 yr CD 0.63%
5 yr CD 1.48%

Find personalized rates:
 

Rates provided by Bankrate.com.

"The status quo just isn't sustainable," says Ken Sperling of Hewitt Associates.

It's estimated in the next five years, health care costs will go up 50% if history is any guide. That means companies that provide health care insurance and employees would be paying more.

How much more? Nine years ago, you were paying 15% of the cost. Last year, you shouldered 22% of the cost. And by 2019, it's estimated that 33% of the cost would have come out of your pocket. That's about $7,300 per year for health care. Your employer could be paying almost $15,000 per employee according to Hewitt.

1. Your policy might change

Employers may put an added emphasis on health and wellness programs. While some companies already use incentives to encourage employees to join a gym or take part in a survey. Others are penalizing those who choose not to participate.

In fact, according to a recent Hewitt Associates survey, nearly one-half of employers say they either already use or plan to use financial penalties over the next three to five years for employees who do not participate in certain health improvement programs

So, if you're a smoker, you may get a smoking surcharge.

The way companies market their health care plans may also change. Your company may roll out an interactive Web site, a number of seminars may be held or you may get a call from someone explaining your benefits.

Consumer-driven health plans may become more prevalent in the future. These are high deductible plans you can use with a special savings account.

2. What you should know

Remember, there won't be too many changes in the short term. But make sure you keep up to date on any changes that may be coming next year.

Read all the material that comes your way about your health insurance. And make sure you keep an open line of communication with your HR representative, in case you have any questions.

Talkback: Do you go online to check out your health insurance information? (See comments) To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.90%4.01%
15 yr fixed3.01%3.13%
5/1 ARM3.19%3.26%
30 yr refi3.98%4.12%
15 yr refi3.08%3.23%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,689.86 -56.12 -0.32%
Nasdaq 5,128.28 -0.50 -0.01%
S&P 500 2,103.84 -4.79 -0.23%
Treasuries 2.20 -0.06 -2.78%
Data as of 9:35pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.88 -0.25 -1.38%
Micron Technology In... 18.51 -1.39 -6.98%
Facebook Inc 94.01 -1.20 -1.26%
Apple Inc 121.30 -1.07 -0.87%
Frontier Communicati... 4.72 0.09 1.94%
Data as of Jul 31

Sections

Some families are outraged at the sums they've been offered by Lufthansa as compensation for the Germanwings plane crash in March which killed 150 people. More

The U.S. economy has had pretty ho-hum start to 2015. But the stage is set for a strong second half of the year. More

Fast-food chains that operate in more than 30 locations nationwide are the sole target of a new rule in New York to hike their minimum wage to $15. But consumers and small business owners, as well as some employees, may be the ones to pay the price. More

You can't blame it on the economy anymore. More Millennials now have jobs, but are still living at home. More