From Gary Strauss at USA Today comes this quite shocking story about how some employers are preserving gold-plated health insurance plans for top CEOs just as millions of workers “face rising health insurance costs and dwindling benefits”:
Though millions of workers face rising health insurance costs and dwindling benefits in 2011, many CEOs will retain employer-paid medical plans and health benefits worth thousands of dollars.
Hundreds of top corporate managers get medical benefits and supplemental coverage far beyond what’s offered to rank-and-file employees. Benefits include “executive” physicals and reimbursements for out-of-pocket costs, deductibles and co-payments, according to corporate filings.
As one source told Strauss, “[t]he great hypocrisy is this is going to the people best able to pay for this stuff.” “Executives should pay for this on their own or be covered by the same plan as everyone else at the company,” Nell Minow of The Corporate Library said. Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act would do just that, prohibiting employers that provide health coverage from limiting eligibility for coverage to highly compensated individuals. (Sec. 2716 of the law or pages 38–39 in this version.) Group plans will not be able to limit eligibility to highly compensated individuals or discriminate through the benefits offered.
All of these bloated packages and perks only increase health care costs and by 2018 they will face the new excise tax and will likely be far less numerous. But for now, companies seem content on offering the policies while most of the workforce is struggling with risking costs.