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Employees, Do the Homework on Job-Based Health Coverage
By Ann Carrns
From The New York Times on Wednesday, October 26, 2016
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Workers with employer-based health plans who are considering options for next year can expect to see their premiums rise by about 5 percent, according to a recent report from the National Business Group on Health, which represents large employers.

Employees are more likely to encounter programs aimed at curbing rising costs for expensive, complex drugs, for example, known as “specialty” pharmaceuticals, said Brian Marcotte, president and chief executive of the National Business Group on Health.

More employers are offering “telehealth” services, which allow employees to check in with a doctor or nurse by phone or video. The cost of such a visit is about $40, compared with $100 for an office visit, Mr. Marcotte said. While not every issue can be addressed using telehealth, it offers “an opportunity to save money and time,” he said, and can often be used after traditional office hours. Use of telehealth remains low among employees, he said, but is growing.