Jesse Gelsomini in Houston Chronicle: Downturn Could Mean Health Care Hikes for Oil and Gas Workers


Once-generous employer-sponsored health plans for Houston's besieged oil and gas industry are under rigorous review for next year and beyond with the possibility of heftier payroll deductions, coverage option overhauls and workers being steered toward high-deductible plans in which they could pay thousands of dollars out of pocket before insurance kicks in.

The industry's economic distress was clear in the smaller crowds and somber mood at this week's Offshore Technology Conference. With slumping crude oil prices expected to linger for at least the remainder of the year, experts in benefit packages for dozens of local energy companies say their clients are exploring how to save money on the health coverage they offer employees.

"There are ideas coming up that have never been seriously pursued before," says attorney Jesse Gelsomini, a partner at Haynes and Boone who offers legal guidance for some of the city's largest oil and gas companies in their employee benefit plans.

"There is a sense of we have to do something," he says of the conversation he is having with clients.

Excerpted from the Houston Chronicle. To read the full article, please click here (subscription required).

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