Kaiser released its annual Employer Health Benefits Survey recently and that got me wondering why we are so tied to employer sponsored insurance? It’s kind of like smoking to me; I get why people smoked in the 40’s, 50’s,60’s but can’t figure out why anyone would start today.

The survey points out that family premiums have risen 113% since 2001 (and of course this is for lesser coverage) and it also shows that employers don’t have confidence in their ability to control costs. Many of these employers use the largest consultants and employ all sorts of other vendors and tactics to try to decrease the annual cost increases.  The costs are still doubling every 8 or 9 years.

Maybe the whole system of employer sponsored, 3rd party pay is the culprit.

What would the cost of auto insurance be if it was an employer sponsored benefit with state and federal mandates?  Before you make a guess you need to factor in the following rules:

  • Individual premium rates can not be based on the type or value of the car – so a Bugatti and Chevy would be the same
  • Individual premium rates can not be based on the driving record and all applicants must be accepted
  • Gas and car washes are included for a fixed co-pay (equal to 20-50% of the actual cost) as long as you use a “network” station – at least 75% of the stations will be in network – unlimited use of the copay and the copay is the same for any fill-up or wash regardless of vehicle
  • Oil changes, brake pads and tires are included at no cost to the “insured”

I ‘m thinking that I would be able to find a lower cost, higher value plan in the non-employer sponsored market.  Unless I drive my expensive, gas guzzling cars fast and furious.