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June 26, 2004

New Jobs- No Health Benefits

Whatever jobs are being created, most aren't accompanied with health benefits.

So says the HMO executives who aren't seeing new enrollments in their plans:

It's fair to say that a lot of jobs that are being created may not be the jobs that come with benefits," Ron Williams, president of Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET - news), one of the biggest U.S. health insurers with 13 million members, told investors in early June.

That echoes recent comments by others in the industry including William McGuire, chief executive of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH - news), the biggest U.S. health plan with 18 million members...

Analysts who follow the big publicly-traded health plans in general have even more grim enrollment forecasts than the companies themselves.

The stark reality is that employer-paid health care is now a privilege, not something a majority of employees can aspire to:
In 2003, 45 percent of employees had medical coverage through employers, down from 63 percent a decade earlier, according to government figures.
The Bush partisans can keep talking about the wonders of the economy, but workers know what's going on out in the workplace.

Posted by Nathan at June 26, 2004 05:24 PM