This does not surprise me at all - Employers are pushing health insurance costs onto employees. I think we my have reached the end of the era of cheap health insurance through employers in the US. Just like we reached the end of the era of cheap gasoline in the US when oil hit $80/barrel - but that's another post.
But its not a surprise to me. And I am not including anything here about health care reform. As health care costs have gone up over the years, insurance companies have been raising premiums accordingly (and to cover their overhead when they find that people have the gall to visit the doctor and get treated). Employers, already strained by a down economy are forced to negotiate the premiums with insurers and cut some coverage, increase co-payments, and still premiums go up.
Yes a $20 copay that I have now is probably relatively cheap. It costs me $30 to see a specialist - like an eye doctor. And that's in network. And people tell me, it costs them even more for a doctor visit.
Actually I can't see why people don't understand this. Its a service that costs more. Until health care costs come under control, health insurance costs will continue to grow. Its not just an insurance issue, its a health care issue. We all will pay more.