Employers continue to struggle to pay for their workers' health benefits due to rising healthcare and related benefit costs, which have been increasing at a rate 3 times that of wages since 1999. And that's only after substantial decreases in coverage levels year after year. These inevitable annual increases are a primary reason that only 9 percent of employers now pay the full cost of their workers' health benefits.
For employers, it can seem like there is no way out of the cycle of increasing health benefit costs and decreasing worker satisfaction. But there is some new thinking driven as much by the changing nature of our workforce, as by the frustrations about the health benefit dilemma. Access to the Affordable Care Act could provide a better alternative for workers and their employers than traditional employer based health benefits.