As large employers go the way of the dinosaurs, more and more Americans are being employed by small and medium-sized employers, employers who do not have the purchasing power to force insurance companies to keep their rates reasonable. This is a terrifying proposition for people just entering the job market. It means that more and more employers are being priced out of the insurance arena, leaving new employees to find their own insurance as it is no longer part of the company’s benefits package.
Contributing to this horrifying situation is the aging of the American populace and the idea that a single severe illness can make insurance out of reach for an entire company and its employees. And, while it is illegal to discriminate against potential employees due to disabilities or existing medical conditions, it is likely that the rising insurance costs will lead to a subtle, but distinctive trend to avoid hiring anyone who might jeopardize the company’s insurance rates. This trend makes it imperative that people research the benefits offered by a company as thoroughly as the salary offered.
The fact that fewer and fewer companies are offering insurance and that buying individual policies can be incredibly expensive, can make benefits the new determining factor in choosing a career path. It also means that companies which advertise their benefits packages as part of their hiring process will have much more competitively sought after jobs. The trend in insurance rates may also be a death knell for smaller companies as employees cannot afford to take jobs that do not include medical benefits or it may push the United States more rapidly to socialized medicine, thus increasing the tax rate for all Americans.