Despite continued cost concerns, employer confidence in offering health care coverage 10 years from now has nearly doubled from a year ago
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The findings of the 20th annual
“Against the backdrop of sluggish economic growth and low inflation,
which limit the degree to which companies can raise prices on goods and
services, employers continue to aggressively manage their health benefit
plans to rein in costs,” said
Employer actions taken and planned include:
- Curbing the high cost of specialty pharmacy through new coverage/utilization restrictions: 53% of employers have done so already; another 32% are likely to by 2018
- Adopting spousal surcharges: 27% of employers have implemented; could rise to nearly 60% in three years
- Using a defined contribution strategy instead of defined benefit: 20% today; expected to double by 2018
- Offering more customization by adding voluntary benefits: 34% today; could reach 70% by 2018
“While we have experienced several years of slower growth in health care
trend, health care cost increases are still multiples of CPI,” said
Other findings from the survey include:
- Employers have nearly universally adopted account-based health plans (ABHPs). Eighty-two percent of companies offered an ABHP in 2015, and another 4% expect to add an ABHP for the first time in 2016. Health savings accounts (HSAs) are the dominant model, with more than 70% of companies offering an ABHP with an HSA.
- Employers view a healthy and productive workforce as a business imperative. Employer concerns about employee well-being are prompting them to consider further changes to their health benefit plans and workforce health strategies. These concerns include health risks arising from lifestyle choices, lack of employee engagement in their own well-being and participation in wellness programs; and concerns about employee financial health.
- Employers are transitioning to value-based payment strategies. Over 70% of employers identify reimbursement methodologies that are based on cost, quality, improved efficiency and better outcomes as important to consider in selecting health plan vendor partners.
About the Survey
The 20th annual
The NBGH is the nation’s only nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to representing large employers’ perspective on national health policy issues and helping companies optimize business performance through health improvement, innovation and health care management. The NBGH leads initiatives to address the most relevant health care issues facing employers today and enables human resource and benefit leaders to learn, share and leverage best practices from the most progressive companies. NBGH members, which include 71 Fortune 100 companies, provide health coverage for more than 50 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families. For more information, visit www.businessgrouphealth.org.
1 Represents projected increase after plan changes; projected increase without plan changes is 5.7%.
Rob Wyse, +1 212-920-1470