Survey: N.J. health benefits costs up 6% by ProQuest

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									Survey: N.J. health benefits costs up 6%                                                                                                                 N.J. businesses
Employers launch measures to control spending for coming year                                          ductibles, co-pays or out-of-pocket maximums.
                                                                                                            While the survey only broke out large-em-
                                                                                                                                                         could get boost
                                                                                                                                                         from Goldman’s
           By Beth fitzgerald                      of Mercer’s annual survey of employer-spon-         ployer results for new Jersey, the nationwide
A nATionAl SurVEY that included new                sored health plans.                                 study included large and small employers.
Jersey employers found the health benefits               new Jersey respondents estimated that if      Small employers cut health costs by moving


                                                                                                                                                         $500M initiative
costs of large Garden State companies rose         they made no changes to their current plan,         employees into high-deductible policies.
6.6 percent in 2009, to an average of $10,522      costs would rise by 10.2 percent in 2010. How-           “Small and large employers used differ-
per worker — and employers said they will          ever, they expect to lower their cost increase to   ent strategies to keep cost growth down in
try to control health care inflation in 2010 by    6.1 percent by making changes to plan design        2009,” said Rich Fuerstenberg, a consultant
shifting costs to employees, making changes        and switching to a new health care provider.        with mercer’s health and benefits business                     By martin c. daks
to their plans or switching insurers.                    Forty-seven percent said they will shift      in Princeton. u                                   A $500 million small-business initiative
      The results, released last week, were part   costs to their employees in 2010 by raising de-                     E-mail to bfitzgerald@njbiz.com   launched by The Goldman Sachs Group could
                                                                                                                                                         mean more opportunities for entrepreneurs in
                                                                                                                                                         new Jersey and elsewhere, say some observers.
                                                                                                                                                               or it could be a big dud.
                                                                                                                                                               in the wake of the Wall Street firm’s
                                                                                                                                                         10,000 Women initiative — which taps aca-
                                                                                                                                                         demic institutions and nonprofit entities to
                                                                                                                                                         provide assistance to female entrepreneurs
                                                                                                                                                         around the world — Goldman announced it
                                                                                                                                                         developed 10,000 Small Businesses, a five-
                                                                                                                                                         year program designed to offer loans and
                                                                                                                                                         grants to small businesses while linking them
                                                                                                                                                         to community colleges, universities and other
                                                                                                                                                         institutions that will provide business and
                                                                                                                                                         management education.
                                                                                                                                                               in last week’s announcement, Goldman
                                                                                                                                                         committed to providing $200 million to edu-
                                                                                                                                                         cational institutions for scholarships aimed at
                                                                                                                                                         “underserved small-business owners.” The com-
                                                                                                                                                         pany also will contribute $300 million to lending
                                                                                                                                                         and philanthropic organizations to “increase
                                                                                                                                                         the amount of growth capital available to small
                                                                                                                                                         businesses in underserved communities.”
                                                                                                                                                               As part of the initiative, Goldman Sachs
                                                                                                                                                         also will tap its own employees, and will work
                                                                                                                                  
								
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