Costlier Healthcare, Lower Productivity

As healthcare co-payments rise, labor productivity drops as, unsurprisingly, employees buy fewer prescription drugs. For example, employees with chronic pain had 76.7 hours absent from work. But, for every $5 rise in their co-payment, absenteeism increased 1.3% to 3.1%, or about five workdays per year. With average hourly earnings of $31/hour fully loaded, the increase in absenteeism costs employers $1,240, offsetting much of any employer savings.

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