Garden State Employers Shifted Health Costs to Workers

December 13, 2002 ( - New Jersey companies aggressively shifted the burden of health care costs to their employees in 2002, keeping the cost increase below the national average, a new study found.

According to Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Garden State companies raised co-payments and increased deductibles as part of their cost-shifting efforts, the Asbury Park (New Jersey) Press reported

New Jersey’s 6.6% increase was below the national average of 14.5%. New Jersey employers still paid $6,021 per employee last year, compared to $5,646 per employee nationwide, according to Mercer.

The problem isn’t likely to subside. Mercer reported that New Jersey employers expect an increase of about 14% next year, the Press story said.

At some point, Mercer said, passing the increase onto employees won’t be easy since some workers might look for another job rather than pay the added health care costs.

The consulting firm surveyed nearly 2,900 employers with 10 or more workers nationwide, including 93 in New Jersey.