Employee Benefits


To stave off double-digit increases in the cost of employee health plans, small and midsize companies cut benefits in 2003, according to a survey and analysis by Mercer Human Resource Consulting and Marsh Inc. ( www.marsh.com ). This held costs to an average of $6,130 per worker, up 9.8% since 2002. Companies with fewer than 50 employees limited their per capita costs to $5,795 by instituting provisions discouraging dependent coverage and imposing high deductibles. But businesses with 1,000 to 1,999 employees spent considerably more—$6,472—per worker, reflecting the challenge of competing for labor with larger employers that have greater purchasing power. The findings are based on responses from 1,904 employers.

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Test yourself on these often confused words

The spelling checker on your word processing program can do only so much to flag problems. Your best insurance is to learn the troublesome words that trip up writers and use them correctly by the standards of formal, written English.