Consumers—including your employees—are hanging on tightly to every penny, fueling the biggest slump in U.S. consumer spending since 1942. One of the things they’re skimping on is health care.
As the economy worsens, rising health costs are driving more employees to cut their own spending on medical care, says a new survey by Watson Wyatt. But in some cases, saving now could mean paying more later.
During last fall’s open enrollment period, for example, just 19% of employees were willing to pay higher health insurance premiums to keep their deductibles and co-pays lower and more predictable. That’s down from 38% a year ago.
The silver lining: Two-thirds of employees say they are trying to take better care of themselves so they won’t need to pay as much for doctor visits.
“Workers will continue to look for avenues to save money in tight times,” says Cathy Tripp, Watson Wyatt’s national leader of consumerism.
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