Big Employers Change The Way They Provide Health Benefits

The Wall Street Journal reports on developments related to the health benefits provided by two large employers. Also, The Associated Press reports on how making smart decisions will be eaiser during the current open enrollment season.

The Wall Street Journal: Big Firms Overhaul Health Coverage
Two big employers are planning a radical change in the way they provide health benefits to their workers, giving employees a fixed sum of money and allowing them to choose their medical coverage and insurer from an online marketplace. Sears Holdings Corp. and Darden Restaurants Inc. say the change isn't designed to make workers pay a higher share of health-coverage costs. Instead they say it is supposed to put more control over health benefits in the hands of employees (Mathews, 9/26).

Earlier, related KHN story: Some Employers Already Sending Workers To Exchanges to Buy Health Insurance (Appleby, 4/29). 

The Associated Press/Boston Globe: How To Maximize Your Savings Through Smart Health Care Benefit Decisions
All too often this open-enrollment period has required combing through pages and pages of confusing insurance terms. But this year workers will receive help translating that jargon thanks to a new requirement that insurers provide a user-friendly coverage summary of all health plans. Combined with innovative wellness plans that reward employees for staying health, experts say millions of workers should be able to make smarter benefit decision and save money in the process (Perrone, 9/26).

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