American workers have been shielded from the rising cost of health care for decades, with the burden of rising medical costs borne largely by employers and the government, according to the report. Americans spent six percent of their personal budgets on medical costs in 1960, the same percentage of consumer spending as in 2004, it said.The report notes that in recent years the Government and private sector employers have been shifting costs onto consumers. The report predicts the employer health care costs will climb by more than 10% in 2007 unless further plan changes are made. Business Insurance reported today about a Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (CAIB) reports that supports PwCs predictions. (Of course, as noted in the FEHBlog, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program had a 1.8% average premium increase for 2007. The FEHB Program's Open Season began on Monday November 13 and ends on December 11. )
The CAIB survey report relates that 70% of responding brokers had sold a health savings account product to an employer client for the 2006 or 2007 plan year. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that banks are now actively marketing HSAs as well:
Nearly 1,100 banks now offer the tax-favored spending accounts, more than triple the number at the end of 2005, according to market-research firm Information Strategies Inc.