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Stuck with the health care bill

April 16, 2004 | Page 2

U.S. EMPLOYERS regularly complain about how the increasing cost of health care is hurting their business. But they aren't the ones bearing the brunt.

A recent survey of corporate executives found that 86 percent of companies are requiring their workers to make a greater contribution to their health care benefits. The survey by the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 48 percent of all companies reduced health care benefits for workers over the past three years.

Plus, 72 percent of executives said they had raised deductibles on employee insurance plans. For prescription drug benefits, 71 percent of companies increased co-payments for brand-name drugs, and 69 percent raised co-payments for generics.

The report said that less than half of large multinational corporations have a health-care program for retirees. But among those that do have a program, nearly half have already cut benefits for current retirees.

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