Companies looking to charge workers more for healthcare

The fact that employers expect healthcare costs to skyrocket yet again can only mean one thing: More cost-sharing measures will be dumped on employees.
After several years in which healthcare cost increases have been trending downward, it looks like days of big hikes may be returning as companies expect health benefit costs to jump by an average of 8.9% in 2011 (after facing a modest 7% increase last year).
As a result, 63% of large employers plan to increase premium rates in 2011, according to a new survey of 72 large employers representing almost four million employees conducted by the National Business Group on Health.
Some other cost-sharing measures employees will face:

  • 46% of the companies surveyed intend to hike maximum out-of-pocket costs for workers in 2011
  • 44% plan to increase in-network deductibles
  • 25% plan to boost the co-pay or co-insurance costs for prescription drug benefits at retail pharmacies (21% have the same plan for mail-order pharmacy benefits), and
  • 5% plan to drop retiree healthcare benefits, while another 60% say they’ll consider the same strategy for the future.

Is your company planning to increase employee cost-sharing requirements in the next year? Let us know in the Comments Box below.