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Survey: More Area Businesses Offering High-Deductible Health Insurance Plans

Employers in the Rochester area are increasingly using high-deductible health plans as a way of  trying to  provide health care coverage to their employees at a reasonable cost.

That according to Sandy Parker, president of the Rochester Business Alliance which just released a survey about how its members are providing health benefits in the coming year.

She says high deductible plans do make employees more conscious of how much health care costs, but those kinds of plans may also discourage some people from seeking medical attention.

"(There is ) a positive in that we're using the health care system to help us when we really are in need, (but) the downside of that is because of economics some individuals may not access the health care system as soon as they should be accessing it. "

The survey shows that 76 percent of the local companies surveyed recently say they offered one or more high-deductible health insurance plans, which is up five percent from last year.

Parker says area employers want to make sure they remain competitive by offering health benefits and many of them are still paying a significant part of the insurance premium.

Local companies that responded to the survey said they expect their health insurance premiums to rise by an average of  about 13 percent next year.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.