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New organization launches in the face of rising healthcare costs

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A new organization in Kansas has launched in the face of rising healthcare costs with the hope to fight inflation.

Kansas Employers for Affordable Healthcare - a new organization - announced on Tuesday, Jan. 17, that it has launched to fight alongside businesses and employees who face rising costs for healthcare.

“Employer-sponsored health coverage is under siege by policies that raise costs on businesses large and small, threaten to undermine a key job recruitment and retention tool, and erode the household buying power of hard-working Kansas employees,” said Andrew Wiens, Executive Director of Kansas Employers for Affordable Healthcare (KEAH). “KEAH will serve as a collective voice for employers to push back against anti-competitive legislation that raises the cost of healthcare for Kansas businesses, employees, and their families.”

The organization indicated that employer-sponsored healthcare benefits support good health among employees and their families and provide preventative care, treatment for illnesses and injuries and access to medications. In fact, a recent survey from the Society for Human Resource Management has shown that employers name health-related benefits as the most important benefit they can offer.

“In recent years, Kansas businesses have watched their healthcare bills go up while harmful legislation continues to be proposed: implementing budget-busting coverage mandates, increasing red tape, prohibiting cost-saving practices, banning incentives to shop at cheaper providers, and issuing heavy-handed regulations of employers with self-funded health plans,” Wiens said. “KEAH applauds Kansas legislative leadership for committing to ‘A Better Way’ in their 2023 legislative agenda to ‘protect Kansas consumers and stop new costly mandates that drive up rates.’”

At the same time, KEAH said health benefit costs are expected to rise more than 5% in 2023 and employers should prepare for continued increases. It said those who are covered by an employer-sponsored health insurance plan have recently enrolled in their yearly benefit and did see an increase.

“We’ve dug ourselves quite a hole with healthcare regulations, both at the federal and state levels. While we can’t totally control macroeconomic forces and put a lid on inflation, Kansas employers, small businesses, labor unions, and associations can join KEAH to fight back against price-hiking legislation and regulations,” Wiens concluded. “Kansans facing mounting healthcare costs are counting on us to get the job done.”

For more information about the new organization, click HERE.

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