7 Percent Increase Expected for Benefit Costs in 2014
The largest companies in the nation are expected to experience an average of a 7 percent cost increase for healthcare benefits in 2014, according to a National Business Group on Health survey. The survey also found that more companies will offer consumer-directed plans (CDHP) as their sole option next year due to their lower expense but higher deductibles. However, large companies are also found to offer more than just health coverage, extending services to include weight control, on-site clinics, and smoking cessation programs.
“Employers continue to implement numerous tactics to control costs, improve employee health and productivity and ensure the delivery of high quality health care to their employees and dependents,” Helen Darling, NBGH CEO and president, said in a news release.
The survey found that the number of employers offering only a CDHP to their employees continues to rise as 22 percent plan to completely replace other coverage options with a CDHP next year. The current number for 2013 is 19 percent. The 7 percent cost increase for health benefits next year is also the same as the increases reported for this year and 2012.
Companies are also relying on the PPACA exchanges to open up other options to some populations of workers on an individual basis next year. About 40 percent of employers think that participants in COBRA plans may choose public health exchanges as their best option. Over one-quarter of employers feel that some pre-65 retirees might turn to exchanges while 20 percent predict that many part-time workers could do the same.