First Obamacare Open Enrollment Promises More Incentives and Costs

As American workers prepare for the first open enrollment season of the Obamacare era, hints are surfacing about what awaits them - higher deductibles, more incentives for staying well and premium hikes that continue to out-strip wages, albeit by more moderate amounts than in the past.

As American workers prepare for the first open enrollment season of the Obamacare era, hints are surfacing about what awaits them - higher deductibles, more incentives for staying well and premium hikes that continue to out-strip wages, albeit by more moderate amounts than in the past.

For coverage in 2014, the first year in which key parts of the Affordable Care Act's healthcare reforms take effect, premium increases will be about 5 percent, according to two studies. While a significant feature of the healthcare law is to mandate individual coverage through public insurance exchanges, it also contains requirements on pricing and plan features for employers.

Costs for families with employer coverage will rise 4 percent, to an average $16,351, of which workers will pay $4,565 in premiums, according to the 15th annual Employer Health Benefits Survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust released Tuesday. The increase for single workers was 5 percent, to $5,884, with the worker typically paying $999.

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Source: Reuters