If you’re looking to benchmark your approach to keeping a lid on company health costs, take a look at the details from a survey asking 3,000 HR managers what tactics they’re planning.
The survey was conducted by the Mercer consulting firm. Here’s a compilation of the responses (the numbers add up to more than 100% because some companies are trying more than one approach):
- 59% said they intend to keep down rising health care costs in 2009 by raising workers’ deductibles, copays or out-of-pocket spending limits.
- 47% are encouraging enrollment in plans with lower premiums and higher deductibles.
- 19% will start offering a consumer-directed health plan — a high-deductible plan with employee-controlled spending accounts. They encourage employees to save account money by shopping for the best health bargains; the employees can keep the savings for future needs. That’s up from last year’s figure of 12% who said they were very likely to adopt a consumer-directed plan.
More from the study:
- On average, health care costs will go up by an estimated 5.7% next year for workers and their employers. That’s the same as this year’s 5.7% and slightly less than the 6.1% jump in 2007.
- During that same period, wage increases have averaged slightly under 4%.
- In the last five years, the average health-plan deductible for an individual grew from $250 to $400. For a family, it rose from $1,000 to $1,500.