Employers Offer High-Deductible Plans To Save Costs

To keep their healthcare costs in check, employers are shifting the cost equation by increasing employee premiums.

When benefits enrollment season arrives this fall, employees around the country can expect to see the impact of corporate cost-cutting on their finances.

Benefits costs will rise only 5 percent for employers that take certain cost-reduction measures, instead of 6.5 percent for companies that do not, according to a June survey of employers representing 7.5 million workers by the National Business Group on Health.

Although costs are not rising as quickly, employees are still being squeezed.

The main way companies are keeping healthcare costs in line is by shifting workers into high-deductible health plans, defined by the Internal Revenue Service as having deductibles above $1,250 for an individual. (here)

For 2015, 81 percent of employers will offer a high-deductible plan as an option, up from 72 percent last year; while 32 percent will offer such plans as the only option, up from 22 percent last year.

The challenge employers face is: "How do you keep costs from spiraling out of control but not shift all of it to the employee?" said Karen Marlo, a vice president at NGBH who authored the report.

Read the report here: http://reut.rs/1uTQ8py

Source: Reuters