Senators Advocate More Health Cost Disclosure

Health insurance premiums grew about 4.7 percent for family coverage and cost about $12,680 in 2008, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. A bipartisan group of senators is hoping more transparency among employers and employees regarding health costs is on the horizon.

They have introduced legislation would require employers to report what they pay for all polices provided to workers, including health insurance or separate dental and vision plans. Earlier this year, the Congressional Budget Office argued that if workers knew what they or their employers pay for health care, it might encourage them to reign in health care costs more actively.

The proposal would require employers to include the amount paid for health insurance coverage on the W-2 Form. It would inform workers about the total cost of their coverage and what they may be giving up in wages.

The senators will accept public comment on the proposal through Dec. 31; comments should be sent to Find out more information at the Web site of Sen. Grassley (R-Iowa), the proposal’s lead sponsor.