Aon Hewitt reports that over half of employers are choosing to default to their current benefit coverage instead of reassessing plan options risking increased costs and decreased utility.
“It’s easy to fall back on the status quo and assume that your 2012 benefits choices will continue to meet your needs in 2013,” says Craig Rosenberg, Aon Hewitt’s national leader for health and welfare benefits administration. “But changes to family health care needs, employer plan offerings and costs make it important for workers to reevaluate their selections every year.”
Data from Aon Hewitt show that health costs are predicted to rise 6.3 percent next year, up to almost $12,000 per employee, increased from about $10,500 in 2012. And while most employers are still covering the brunt of the costs, employees should expect to contribute a larger portion of their total health care costs rise due to increased premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. The average cost each employee is expected to pay in 2013 is nearly $5,000, split between premiums and out-of-pocket expenditures.
But employers are not taking the news sitting down:
“In order to manage rising health care costs, employers are increasingly turning toward strategies aimed at improving the overall health of their workers by encouraging behavior change and making them more accountable for the health decisions they make,” says Jim Winkler, chief innovation officer for health benefits at Aon Hewitt. “Employees should expect to see incentive programs like in past years, but now, companies are moving past simply asking workers to participate—they want to see improved health results too.”