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HALF OF AMERICANS WITH EMPLOYER-BASED HEALTH INSURANCE ARE PAYING MORE AS OBAMACARE KICKS IN

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This is an article from Glenn Levar’s Shared Time Human Resource ManagementNewsletter of January 13, 2014. You can reach Glenn at grlevar@sthrm.com.

About half (47%) of Americans with employer-based health insurance say more money is being taken out of their paychecks each month for health insurance than a year ago, according to a new Bankrate.com report. Forty-four percent are experiencing higher out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles and copayments, compared to one year ago.

Upper-middle-income Americans with employer-based health insurance (annual household incomes between $50,000 and $74,999) are the most likely to report more money being taken from their paychecks and higher out-of-pocket expenses. Overall, respondents in this group feel the hardest hit by Obamacare. Out of all income levels, they are the most likely to feel that the law has had a negative effect on their health insurance (47%).

While many feared losing family coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act, very few employers have taken this step (less than one in 10 Americans with employer-based health insurance lost coverage for a spouse or child this year). And only two in 10 Americans with employer-based health insurance now have fewer doctors included in their plans.

"Since so much of the Obamacare conversation has focused on uninsured Americans and the government-run exchanges, it's easy to forget most Americans – about 150 million – get their health insurance from an employer," said Bankrate.com insurance analyst Doug Whiteman. "People covered under these plans should watch for changes and discuss with their employers how Obamacare may affect their coverage and costs. In some cases, getting insurance through the health exchanges could be more cost–effective, so it is important to research all possibilities." January 8, 2014 insurancebroadcasting.com.

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