U.S. Employers Agree: Firms Should Share Costs of Health Coverage

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<p>Despite the rapidly rising costs of health coverage, two-thirds of U.S. firms strongly or somewhat agree that "all employers should share in the cost of health insurance for employees, either by covering their own workers or by contributing to a fund to cover the uninsured," according to a new <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=25303&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D424146%26%23doc424146"><em>Health Affairs</em> article</a> by researchers at the Center for Studying Health System Change and The Commonwealth Fund.<br><br>The article, which is based on a special Fund-supported supplement to the 2005 Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research and Educational Trust survey of employer health benefits, also found that nearly all firms view health benefits as an important tool to attract and retain qualified workers.<br><br>According to the survey, a majority of employers are willing to undertake administrative changes designed to expand coverage--for example, reducing an eligible employee's withholding tax by the amount of any available health insurance tax credit. Half of firms, meanwhile, would be interested in a program that would allow their workers and dependents to obtain coverage through their state's public employee insurance program, with the employer contributing part of the premium.</p>