Open enrollment sticker shock

Georgians with health insurance through their work are likely to see significant increases in monthly premiums, annual deductibles and/or co-pays when they peruse their open enrollment materials.

Large employers in Atlanta project an 8.7 percent increase in their per-worker insurance costs in 2011, tracking about the same as the rate nationally, according to a Hewitt Associates survey. Meanwhile, smaller employers usually get even higher increases because they have less bargaining clout than large companies.

Because employers typically raise workers’ premiums and out-of-pocket costs to help cover those hikes, you can expect your health costs to go up next year.

A recent column by Michelle Andrews at Kaiser Health News explains the factors behind the increases, and what you can expect: