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[HEALTHWIRES] Health care cost is the greatest retirement worry for investors Americans age 65 & under covered by employers Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Coverage 2000 2011 Declines For 11th Year 70% 58.3% Fewer Americans are covered by employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI). A new Economic Policy Institute (EPI) report found that 2011 marked 11 years in which a decline was shown in the percentage of those covered by their employers. The report found that 58.3 percent of Americans age 65 and under had health insurance through their workplace. Because most Americans rely on health insurance offered through their jobs, the fall in coverage is expected during a down economy. However, the drop in ESI started long before the Great Recession. The percentage of people covered through their employers has been sliding steadily since 2000, when nearly 70 percent of Americans under age 65 had employer-sponsored coverage. The report also found that public health insurance coverage, such as Medicaid, and key components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act kept many Americans, primarily children and young adults, insured. Public health insurance covered 25 million more people under age 65 in 2011 than it did in 2000. In fact, although children saw larger declines in ESI than adults over the 2000s, they experienced an increase in total coverage rates due to public insurance, as the share of children with public coverage grew 14.6 percentage points from 2000 to 2011. You’re more likely to have health insurance through your employer if you live in New Hampshire. The Granite State had the highest rate of ESI coverage among the under-65 population, at 72 percent in 2010-11. It was followed by Massachusetts (70.5 percent), Connecticut (69.8 percent), Minnesota (68.7 percent), Utah (68.6 percent) and Maryland (67.4 percent). In contrast, less than half of the non-elderly population in New Mexico (47.6 percent) and Louisiana (49.7 percent) have ESI. Most Happy With Health Insurance Cost Six out of 10 U.S. adults are satisfied with how much they pay for health insurance, but those on Medicare and Medicaid are more satisfied, a survey says. Gallup’s annual Health and Healthcare poll found satisfaction rates among Medicaid and Medicare recipients reached a new high the last two years, at 76 percent, while those who have private insurance were less satisfied at 57 percent. Sixty-four percent of U.S. adults with private insurance said their health premiums costs are shared with their employer, up from 54 percent in 2001. Of those polled, 71 percent said their health insurance costs rose in the past year, DID YOU KNOW ? including 29 percent who said their costs increased a lot, while 22 percent said their cost share has not changed and 5 percent reported a decrease. AMA: Anticompetitive Market Conditions Common In Managed Care Plans Most areas of the U.S. have a single health insurer with an anticompetitive share of the managed care market, according to a new study by the American Medical Association (AMA). The AMA’s annual health insurance market analysis looked at insurer competition in the markets for point-ofservice plans (POS), health maintenance organizations (HMO) and preferred provider organizations (PPO). In preparation for the 40 percent excise tax on high-cost “Cadillac” plans in 2018, 31 percent of employers indicated they plan to reduce their benefits in 2014-16, with 41 percent responding they will do so for 2017-18. Source: Midwest Business Group on Health survey 40 InsuranceNewsNet Magazine » January 2013 The AMA’s findings reveal: A significant absence of health insurer competition in 70 percent of the metropolitan areas studied by the AMA. In 67 percent of the metropolitan areas studied by the AMA, at least one health insurer had an HMO market share of 50 percent or greater. In 68 percent of the metropolitan areas studied by the AMA, at least one health insurer had a PPO market share of 50 percent or greater. Notable The top 10 least competitive commercial health insurance markets are in: [1] Alabama [2] Hawaii [3] Michigan [4] Delaware [5] Alaska [6] North Dakota [7] South Carolina [8] Rhode Island [9] Wyoming [10] Nebraska Source: American Medical Association States Could Face $68 Billion In Additional Medicaid Costs Over Next Decade As governors consider whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a report said that states together face $68 billion in additional Medicaid costs from 2013 to 2022 – even if they all opt out of the expansion. If all states expand the federal-state health insurance program for the poor to people with incomes up to $26,344 for a family of three, based on this year’s poverty level, the combined cost for states would be $8 billion more than if none do, the analysis by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured said. The reason for the relatively small difference is that other provisions of the health-reform law will also lead to increased Medicaid enrollment, but at a higher cost to states because states will not benefit from the ACA provision that the federal government will pick up most of the expansion tab.

January 2013

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