(Updated post.) Any moment now, you'll be getting that dreaded big envelope from Gannett, telling you how much more medical benefits will cost next year compared to 2008, as late fall is traditionally annual open-enrollment season. Health-care premiums are expected to rise 7.8% for 2008, according to a recent projection by Hewitt Associates, cited in today's Wall Street Journal. That would come after double-digit percentage increases in previous years.
But employees' charges for such items as deductibles, co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses are forecast to jump 10.1% from this year, to about $1,900, the WSJ story (paid subscription generally required) says. No matter what Gannett's increases are this year, they'll nip at pay increases for many employees, given raises stuck in the 1% to 2% range.
On a percentage basis, how much more do you expect your total medical expenses -- premiums plus out-of-pocket fees -- to increase next year compared to this year? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.