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More workers to face higher healthcare costs in '09, surveys find

Los Angeles Times, January 27, 2009

A growing number of workers in 2009 will pay more for health benefits—and in some cases receive less coverage—as their employers grapple with the financial fallout of rising medical expenses and diminished revenue and profits, recent surveys of human resource officials show. The Corporate Executive Board found in its survey that a quarter of officials from 350 large corporations said they had increased deductibles an average of 9% in 2008. But 30% of the employers said they expected to raise deductibles an average of 14% in 2009. The economic slowdown, according to analysts, is making it more difficult for many employers to subsidize healthcare costs at previous levels.