Harley Davidson workers have approved a new contract, ending the three week strike that included disputes over wages and healthcare premiums. According to WHTM, ABC News of Harrisburg, the new contract provides that "Workers will not pay health insurance premiums, but deductibles and co-pays will increase." This resolution stops short of the trend toward consumer driven healthcare plans. However, increasing out of pocket healthcare expenses for consumers is a step towards making them more aware of the increased cost of healthcare. Insurance analysts hope this will result in consumers taking a more vested interest in their healthcare costs.
Is this an effective approach or will it result in consumers foregoing needed healthcare? There is a fairly comprehensive analysis of consumer driven healthcare at ConsumerDrivenHealthCare.us: Guide to Options in Consumer Driven Health Care. In the coming years, employers will be faced with many difficult decisions as they attempt to slow the rapidly rising cost of healthcare coverage for employees. A recent report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services predicts that health care is expected to account for $1 of every $5 spent in the United States in another decade. Decision makers will need to become educated on the options available and the consequences of the plans they choose.