Microsoft To Shift Part Of Health Care Costs To WorkersDow Jones Newswires/The Wall Street Journal: "Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world's largest software company, said on Friday it will trim its generous healthcare benefits for employees starting in 2013 because of rising coverage costs. In a staff meeting, the Redmond, Wash. company told employees they will be required to contribute some portion of their annual healthcare insurance premiums, although it didn't detail what portion staff members would be asked to shoulder. Currently, Microsoft covers the entire cost of healthcare benefits for nearly all of its 90,000 employees. Microsoft's decision comes as the software giant and other U.S. companies grapple with rising healthcare costs. Some companies have complained that an overhaul of U.S. healthcare will also cause their cost structures to rise" (Borzo, 10/8).
Bloomberg/BusinessWeek: "'The cost of health care has, over the years, increased dramatically,' [Microsoft spokesman Lou] Gellos said in an interview today. 'The projections going forward have them going way up, and in order to be sustainable, some sort of evolution of our health benefit was necessary.' Some of the largest companies in the U.S. project a median 8.3 percent increase in health-care costs next year, according to the National Business Group on Health, a Washington-based nonprofit organization" (Flinn, 10/8).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.