Magazine article HRMagazine

Health Benefit Costs Could Jump in 2014

Magazine article HRMagazine

Health Benefit Costs Could Jump in 2014

Article excerpt

Employers expect that their health coverage cost per employee will rebound in 2014 by an average of 8 percent if they make no changes to their current plans; the smallgroup market could be hit even harder.

The good news is that slower cost growth continued in 2013 as employers took action in anticipation of new cost pressures that will arise over the next few years from health care reform. According to results of the National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, conducted annually by Mercer, growth in the average total health benefit cost per employee slowed from 4.1 percent in 2012 to just 2.1 percent in 2013.

Costs averaged $10,779 per employee in 2013; this included employer and employee contributions for medical, dental and other health coverage.

But employers expect that the growth rate in the per-employee cost of coverage will rebound in 2014 to 5.2 percent overall; that figure takes into account changes they will make to reduce costs. Employers estimate costs would rise by an average of 8 percent if they made no changes. …

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