SEVERE WX : Air Stagnation Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Companies are making some changes for employees health insurance amid the pandemic

More coverage for virtual doctors' visits. Expanded mental health benefits. Access to on-site health clinics.As employees sign up for job-based covera...

Posted: Oct 8, 2020 10:48 AM
Updated: Oct 9, 2020 12:00 PM

More coverage for virtual doctors' visits. Expanded mental health benefits. Access to on-site health clinics.

As employees sign up for job-based coverage for 2021, they'll find the coronavirus pandemic has changed some of the benefits that their companies are providing, experts said.

And premiums and out-of-pocket costs are expected to increase about 5%, which is more than wages and inflation have been rising, according to the Business Group on Health, which surveys large companies. Employers will absorb much, if not all, of the increase for many employees.

This bump comes on top of a 4% increase in premiums this year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's annual employer health benefits survey. In 2020, the average annual premiums hit nearly $7,500 for single coverage and $21,500 for family coverage. Of that cost, workers pay $1,250 for individual policies and nearly $5,600 for family coverage, on average.

Deductibles stayed roughly the same at about $1,650 for a single person, Kaiser found.

One of the biggest changes for 2021 will be a growth in the number and types of virtual care options, said Steve Wojcik, the group's vice president of public policy. Employers had long offered telehealth, but few of their staffers actually used it.

The pandemic changed all that. Utilization soared as Americans sought medical care from the safety of their homes.

Some 53% of large employers will offer more virtual care options next year, the group found. And they are extending the services to weight management, prenatal care and management of chronic diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Coronavirus, as well as the accompanying economic upheaval, has also greatly affected many Americans' mental health. Companies plan to bolster their support and make employees more aware of the offerings available to them, said Mark Hope, senior director at Willis Towers Watson.

Some 45% of large employers are planning to work with their insurers to expand mental health provider networks, according to the Business Group on Health report.

Some 91% of large employers said they would offer virtual mental health services in 2021, up from 73% in 2019. And 65% said they would provide virtual emotional well-being services next year, up from 45% in 2019.

And nearly nine in 10 employers will offer access to online mental health resources, including apps, videos and webinars.

Meanwhile, 61% of employers plan to have an on-site clinics, which can provide coronavirus testing, in addition to basic health services. This ticked up from 58% this year.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 78160

Reported Deaths: 953
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah18149245
Washington10929103
Marion9634147
Clackamas672781
Lane450747
Umatilla446850
Jackson401737
Deschutes251715
Malheur245945
Yamhill179717
Linn160023
Polk133219
Douglas98119
Klamath9265
Jefferson87411
Benton8457
Union8098
Morrow6717
Lincoln66515
Josephine5785
Wasco54319
Columbia5394
Coos4533
Hood River4303
Clatsop3730
Baker2914
Crook2446
Tillamook1470
Curry1462
Lake1431
Grant1381
Harney1041
Wallowa723
Gilliam230
Sherman230
Wheeler60
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1265182

Reported Deaths: 19410
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles4141857740
San Bernardino966571136
Riverside885301444
San Diego846381035
Orange805511578
Kern42614449
Fresno39004488
Sacramento38999586
Santa Clara35945486
Alameda30330520
San Joaquin26432510
Contra Costa24914261
Stanislaus22624430
Tulare21645312
Ventura20604185
Imperial16429356
Monterey15835123
San Francisco15797160
San Mateo14812170
Sonoma12662160
Merced12281182
Santa Barbara11631137
Kings1143489
Solano1095781
Marin7840129
Placer679471
Madera642786
San Luis Obispo634538
Shasta518750
Yolo502081
Santa Cruz463829
Butte419560
Sutter363719
Napa312418
El Dorado25814
Yuba222110
Lassen21823
San Benito196817
Tehama177326
Mendocino163223
Nevada141410
Tuolumne11049
Glenn98910
Lake97120
Humboldt9499
Colusa7476
Siskiyou7373
Amador66616
Mono5503
Calaveras54422
Del Norte3571
Inyo30816
Plumas2300
Trinity1680
Modoc1560
Mariposa1443
Alpine510
Sierra230
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
35° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 35°
Brookings
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 42°
Crater Lake
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 20°
Grants Pass
Overcast
32° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 32°
Klamath Falls
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 20°
Staying dry this week
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events