Wednesday, March 12, 2014



IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau



Towers Watson


The New Health Care Imperative Driving Performance, Connecting to Value


19th Annual Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care{9B5FFFC4-5AC4-43AB-A1CE-703F4C3A226B}

[full-text, 12 pages]

·         U.S. employers experienced the smallest increases in health care costs in 15 years in 2013 (4.1%) after plan changes. That's still twice the rate of inflation. Employer costs are expected to rise 4.4% in 2014.



•     The vast majority of employers are committed to providing benefits in 2015 and beyond, but major changes are on the horizon, including employees and spouses shouldering more costs.



•     Best performers - whose total plan cost trend averaged 1.6% vs the 5.5% median trend in 2012 - lead on strategy changes


Press Release 6 March 2014

U.S. Employers Experiencing Smallest Increases in Health Care Costs in 15 Years, Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health Survey Finds

Employers remain committed to offering benefits to active employees, although major plan changes are on the horizon; employees, spouses shouldering more costs



NEW YORK, March 6, 2014 — The cost of providing employer-sponsored health care benefits is expected to increase 4.4% this year, a slight uptick from last year, when cost increases fell to a 15-year low, according to an annual survey by global professional services company Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW) and the National Business Group on Health (NBGH), an association of large employers. The closely watched industry survey of 595 large U.S. employers also found that the vast majority of employers remain committed to providing benefits to active employees, but say moderate to significant changes to their plans are in store over the next few years.


The 19th Annual Towers Watson/NBGH Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care found that employer costs are expected to reach $9,560 per employee in 2014, an increase of 4.4%* from $9,157 in 2013. Health cost increases fell to a 15-year low of 4.1% in 2013. In response to rising costs, employers continue to shift costs to employees. The survey found the employees' share of premiums increased nearly 7%, to $2,975, this year. Out-of-pocket costs also increased. The total employee cost share has climbed from 34.4% in 2011 to 37% in 2014. Employees now pay over $100 more each month for health care compared with just three years ago.






This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.



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