Health insurance premiums for New Jersey families covered by employer plans rose about 80 percent over the past six years and grew a whopping 5.5 times faster than their income, according to a Families USA study.
From 2000 to 2006, median income in New Jersey rose 14.4 percent, from $31,923 to $36,511. Average annual health care premiums rose from $7,592 to $13,620 for families, and from $2,911 to $4,360 for individuals.
On the bright side, Wal-Mart recently expanded its new low-cost generic drug program to New Jersey. The retailer offers $4 generic prescriptions at more than 49 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club pharmacies throughout the state. Target and some other retail pharmacies are promising to match the deal.
Advice: Now’s a good time to educate your employees about generic drugs and suggest they take advantage of the low-cost program. While maybe not a cure, it might take the edge off the headache of rising health care costs for your organization and your employees.