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Dallas Employers Brace for Increased Texas Health Insurance Costs

Increased Costs

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Across the state, individuals, families and even businesses are bracing themselves for increased Texas health insurance costs.  Though it’s not the only culprit, health care reform plays a large part in increasing costs.  Several insurers have raised rates to comply with the new health laws, and these costs—passed down employers—are eventually absorbed by the Texas workforce.

From the Dallas Morning News –

Higher medical claims, an aging workforce and reverberations from a new health care law will lead to an expected 9 percent health care cost increase for Dallas employers next year, according to a study released Monday. Dallas will experience its highest health care cost increase in more than nine years, according to Hewitt Associates, a human resources company.

In 2010, Dallas health care costs have increased 3.7 percent, as compared to a 4.2 percent increase in 2009. Next year, however, Hewitt projects an 8.7 percent average rate increase.  While federal legislation is certainly guilty of raising health care costs, Texas is also contending with an aging workforce.  Older employees often survive layoffs due to their experience, but they typically require more medical care than younger workers, which further increases costs for businesses.

As affordable Dallas health insurance becomes exceedingly difficult to obtain from employers, more consumers are exploring their individual Texas health insurance options, or opting for less traditional plans, like health savings accounts.  Such alternatives to traditional employer-subsidized plans put more control in the hands of consumers. Individual plans—unlike many group plans—allow the insured to pick and choose the coverage options they need, while HSAs give individuals direct control over how their money is spent.

Changes to Texas health insurance are upon us, with certain changes instituted last week and many more being rolled out over the next several years.  Whether it’s pairing a health savings account with a high deductible health plan, or enlisting the free services of a Texas health insurance broker, consumers should do what they can to keep costs down while remaining insured.

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