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Hooray for Healthcare!

I bet there’s not one of you out there reading this who wouldn’t agree that health insurance is a vital resource for employees. We love healthy workers and healthy workplaces! Job seekers rank health benefits second only to wage when considering a job. And employees who have access to healthcare are (shockingly!) healthier and more productive workers. Here are a few facts about where our programs stand when it comes to offering health benefits* :

• The vast majority of employees (94%) reported having health insurance, and 78% of employees reported having health insurance provided by their employer.
• The majority (71%) of employees with health insurance provided by their employer reported being satisfied with the health insurance they receive.
• Most health insurance plans provided by organizations cover medical, dental, vision and prescription.
• Most (67%) programs do not require their employees to contribute to their own health insurance but most (75%) do require employees to pay for 100% of their dependents’ health insurance.

But of course, the topic of healthcare and health insurance can be difficult to navigate and frustrating to think about. We can probably agree that the system is broken, even if we might have different ideas on how it might be fixed. And change is coming. The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is rapidly becoming a reality, and Washington State will be implementing a new healthcare system to comply with the Affordable Care Act this coming October. This may or may not affect you or your workplaces. There’s still a lot we don’t know. WSCADV is clamoring through the weeds of this new system, trying to learn about how this will affect both survivors and employers. Stay tuned for more concrete information as we learn. In the meantime, if you want to join us in the weeds, take a few minutes to click around on Washington State’s new Health Benefit Exchange website. What are your thoughts? How have you been able to maintain providing health insurance to employees as costs continue to rise? Let’s share tips and resources with each other!

* Data from the 2011 Wages and Benefits Survey administered by WSCADV to our Member Programs. 266 employees from 56 programs participated with representation from every county in Washington.