Indiana workers coping with rising health insurance premiums

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) If you have health insurance through your employer, you may soon have to pay a higher premium.

Global Gifts has a healthy relationship with artists and vendors from around the world. They also help to keep their employees healthy via insurance benefits.

Sam Carpenter, executive director of Global Gifts, said that’s important, but it has become difficult to make happen.

“Health insurance is a big challenge. It’s a big expense for the organization, but it’s also a big expense for an individual.”

They have fewer than 50 employees, at locations across Indiana. Part of Carpenter’s job is dealing with company insurance.

“We saw a 20 percent increase in our premiums, this go around,” Carpenter explained. “That’s obviously bigger than any of our other expenses.”

So far, Global Gifts has not had to pass that cost onto employees. What the future holds, though, Carpenter isn’t sure.

“If it continues to be increased expenses, we’ll have to look at offering different plans that might not cover as much. That sort of thing.”

Susan Rider with Gregory and Appel Insurance said insurance offerings for small businesses with 2-50 employees are dramatically different from years past.

“You’re kind of getting that double-edged sword,” Rider explained. “Your benefits, you’re having higher out-of-pocket maximums. Then, you’re also having increased amounts out of your paycheck.”

All of this varies based on your employer, but Rider offered some reasons why.

“The health insurance market has changed. We have less carriers, less options,” said Rider. “We just have to do the best that we can.”

Rider said make sure you know which doctors and hospitals you absolutely want to use because the network might be different. In emergency situations, she encouraged users to look for an urgent care or immediate care center because they cost less than emergency room visits.

“I would suggest everyone shops their medications,” Rider said.

Carpenter said he hopes the cost of healthcare and insurance gets addressed, soon.

“In a meaningful way, because it’s just not right, I think, for it to be increasing at the rate it’s increasing,” Carpenter said.

One thing you might want to think about is taking single-coverage with your employer, and having your spouse do the same with their employer. That might help you save a few dollars, too.

Rider said this year, you are going to have to sit down and do the math to see what’s best for you and your family.