Wednesday, March 12, 2014Tweet
[IWS] Towers Watson-US: SMALLEST INCREASE IN HEALTH CARE COSTS IN 15 YEARS--SURVEY [6 March 2014]
IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau
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
[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.
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