Will Health Reform Affect My Plan?

Companies will see cost increases, and so will you.

A major goal of health-care reform was to extend coverage to the uninsured. But the majority of Americans, who have insurance through their employer, will see changes, too. A survey by benefits consultant Towers Watson found that 88% of companies plan to pass on health reform's anticipated cost increases via higher co-payments, deductibles or premiums, and 74% plan to reduce health benefits. The first round of mandates could add 2% to 5% to projected 2011 plan costs, according to consultant Hewitt Associates, in addition to the increases already expected.

The new law says that companies currently offering coverage to employees' dependents must make it available to children up to age 26 beginning in plan years that start on or after September 23 (January 1 for plans that work on calendar years). Expect more scrutiny as employers double-check eligibility.

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Anne Kates Smith
Executive Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Anne Kates Smith brings Wall Street to Main Street, with decades of experience covering investments and personal finance for real people trying to navigate fast-changing markets, preserve financial security or plan for the future. She oversees the magazine's investing coverage,  authors Kiplinger’s biannual stock-market outlooks and writes the "Your Mind and Your Money" column, a take on behavioral finance and how investors can get out of their own way. Smith began her journalism career as a writer and columnist for USA Today. Prior to joining Kiplinger, she was a senior editor at U.S. News & World Report and a contributing columnist for TheStreet. Smith is a graduate of St. John's College in Annapolis, Md., the third-oldest college in America.