Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance in New York: Findings from the 2003 Commonwealth Fund/HRET Survey

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A 2003 Commonwealth Fund/Health Research and Educational Trust survey of 576 New York State firms found that, in order to manage rising health costs, employers are increasing the share of the insurance premium that employees pay, delaying the start of benefits, and increasing cost-sharing at the point of service. This has enabled employers to preserve health benefits, but has raised costs for workers and their families. On average, workers' contributions for family coverage rose 54 percent, from $1,392 per year in 2001 to $2,148 per year in 2003. During that time period, fewer workers selected family coverage. Employers are receptive to a wide range of approaches to make coverage more available and affordable for their employees, but they have limited familiarity with public programs that could cover their lower-wage workers, such as Healthy New York, Family Health Plus, or Child Health Plus.