Wednesday, January 30, 2013
New Disclosure Rules on Employer-Provided Health Care Insurance
An article in today's New York Times outlines a change on the W2 forms we get from our employers for taxable year 2012. There is a listing of how much the employer paid on the employee's health care coverage for the year. Many workers are stunned to find out that the health care insurance costs are $12,000 or more. We know that as health care costs and insurance costs have risen over the last couple of decades that nominal wage increases have slowed down. The employer cares about the total cost of a worker and not just the dollar wages or salaries. This is also one of the explanations for why middle-class wages have been relatively flat--we are only measuring the wages and not the total coompensation received by the employee. According to the article, the disclosure is meant to make employees more cost conscious. I find it hard to believe that that is the reason for the disclosure. A worker sees that the employer spent $12000 on his medical insurance decides that he should go to the doctor less frequently? I don't think so.