Beginning 2013, Microsoft Corp will be requiring its employees to contribute to their health-care benefits, citing the rising cost of providing coverage.
In interview on Friday, Lou Gellos, a spokesman for Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, said he didn’t know what portion employees will be asked to provide. About About 95 percent of the company’s roughly 90,000 employees have benefits covered completely.
“The cost of health care has, over the years, increased dramatically,” Gellos said in an interview today. “The projections going forward have them going way up, and in order to be sustainable, some sort of evolution of our health benefit was necessary.”
Some of the largest companies in the U.S. project a median 8.3 percent increase in health-care costs next year, according to the National Business Group on Health, a Washington-based nonprofit organization. Microsoft may be considering a “modest” change in benefits, said Helen Darling, the group’s president.
“Even with the evolution and changes they have in mind, which I think are modest, it will still be way up there in terms of comprehensiveness and relatively low cost to the employee,” Darling said. Her group has nearly 300 members, including Microsoft.
The average U.S. employee contribution to health-care plans is 20 percent, she said.