Two big employers have announced that they will now change the way they help employees with health insurance: instead of finding and financing that insurance, they will give employees a fixed sum of money and let them shop for their own insurance, writes Anna Wilde Mathews in The Wall Street Journal.
The two employers — Sears and Darden Restaurants, parent of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants — would not say how much money they are giving their employees. People with families will receive more than single people, the story says. Both companies described the move as a way to ” put more control over health benefits in the hands of employees.”
She writes: “On average, U.S. employers and workers are estimated to spend $15,475 in annual premiums for health insurance this year for a worker with family coverage, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust. The average employee pays about 28% of that amount and the employer picks up the balance.”
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded ClearHealthCosts.
She was previously a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. ClearHealthCosts has won grants from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York; the International Women’s Media Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC in Los Angeles; the Lenfest Foundation in Philadelphia for a partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer; and the New York State Health Foundation for a partnership with WNYC public radio/Gothamist in New York; and other honors.
Her TED talk about fixing health costs has surpassed 2 million views.