New on W-2s: Cost of Your Health Plan

Disclosure aimed at raising awareness of costs

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 30, 2013 3:10 AM CST

(Newser) – The W-2 forms workers are receiving this month contain new information many are likely to find eye-opening: The cost of their employer-sponsored health coverage. ObamaCare requires disclosure of the information, which appears in Box 12 of the standard W-2 form, the New York Times reports. The disclosure, proposed by a bipartisan group of senators, is meant to raise awareness of health care costs, though unions fear it could make it easier to tax health benefits.

"Most people who get health insurance from their employers have no idea how much it costs," an expert on health law at the University of Kentucky says. "People are often shocked when they see the cost, $12,000 to $16,000 a year. Many Americans believe this is something they get free. But employers pay lower wages because they provide insurance."

The disclosure rule applies to companies with 250 or more employees.
The disclosure rule applies to companies with 250 or more employees.   (Shutterstock)
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If we want to get control of health care costs, people have to be aware of them. - C. Eugene Steuerle, a tax economist
at the Urban Institute

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