Pressure on Your Health Benefits

With costs still rising, companies are testing new ways to save. The trendiest : workers pay more

After watching health-care costs rise more than 60% in the past five years, most of America's 177 million insured workers are bracing for another dose of pain. As this November once again brings open-enrollment season--that annual headache of working out how much more of our paychecks will go to health benefits next year--2007 looks to bring no relief. For the average employee, premiums and out-of-pocket expenses will reach $2,904 a year for a family, up $300 from 2006. That's the pass-along pain of the costs that employers now endure, nearly $9,000 per employee, up an estimated $518 from this year.

Containing those...

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