The growth of health benefit costs have slowed over the past couple of years, yet employers are taking action now to brace for increased cost pressures anticipated over the next few years.
This is one of the findings from Mercer's annual National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans. In 2013, more than 2,800 U.S. employers were surveyed about the cost of health benefits (see a full review of the survey here). Mercer's new infographic outlines the key findings from the survey and provides insight on the future of employer-sponsored health insurance.
According the Mercer survey and infographic:
The average growth in health benefit cost per employee slowed to 2.1% in 2013, with estimates of growth in 5.2% in 2014. However, if employers do not make changes to their current health plans to reduce costs, Mercer projects average growth of 8% in 2014.
The total health benefit cost per employee averaged $10,779 in 2013, including employer and employee contributions for medical, dental, and other health coverage.
In light of the ACA's individual mandate, many employers are anticipating higher enrollment and higher costs. In other words, employers are expecting fewer employees to waive coverage.
The use of consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) continues to increase. According to the survey, 34% of all small employers (<500 EEs), 64% of large employers (500-4,999 EEs), and 78% of very large employers (5,000+ EEs) are likely to offer a CDHP by 2016.
The smallest employers are increasingly likely to say they will drop their health plan within five years, compared to very few large employers. Of small employers with fewer than 50 employees, 34% say they are likely or very likely to terminate their plan within five years.
The Cost of Health Benefits - Infographic
Disclaimer: This infographic was created by Mercer. The views represented in these infographics do not necessarily reflect the views of Zane Benefits, its staff, or its affiliate partners.
In regards to the cost of health benefits, do you think we are in the calm before the storm? Leave a comment below.