Survey: Banks Weighing Health Costs

Article excerpt

Facing rising costs for health-care insurance, community bankers say their employees may need to assume more of the burden of their coverage.

Terry Bush, a human resources consultant with Crowe, Chizek & Co. LLP in South Bend, Ind., said banks are looking for ways to cut the costs of medical plans, which they expect to rise 10% to 15% in the coming year.

According to a Crowe Chizek survey of 467 banks and thrifts, 49.3% said they would consider raising deductibles; slightly more than 50% said they would consider higher co-payments; and 57.7% would think about increasing employees' share of the premiums. The respondents could select more than one option.

The survey, conducted annually by the consulting and accounting firm, looks at bank compensation and human resource issues.

Bankers say such surveys help them determine whether they are competitive from a recruiting standpoint.

Paul W. Freeman, the chief operating officer of the Indiana Bankers Association, said the surveys help his members compare their personnel costs and make choices about adding positions. …