WORKPLACE TREND OF THE FUTURE V: No Health Benfits For You!

Unable to compete with foreign companies that do not provide health benefits to their employees and retirees, more and more American corporations will join the movement to eliminate employer-paid health benefits and create a national, single-payer alternative.

The percentage of small business (with fewer than 200 employees) offering health insurance has been falling steadily from 69% in 2001 to 61% in 2007, according to a survey by management consulting firm Mercer. Meanwhile, large companies have been shifting more of the cost burden to employees, whose in-network PPO deductibles have increased from $689 in 2000 to $1,134 in 2007.

In addition to health costs eroding wage gains and corporate profitability, employer-paid health benefits make less sense in a workforce that is becoming increasingly mobile and flexible. More Americans are changing employers every year or two, employed as contingent or contract workers and holding multiple part- and full-time jobs. The cost and loss of efficiency from the paperwork alone is enough to compel corporations to seek alternatives to the current standard.

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