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Large Employers Anticipate Cost Of Healthcare Plans Will Rise By 5% In

The Washington Post  (8/8, Johnson) reports a new survey of 148 large companies found that employers expect the cost of healthcare plans to rise by five percent to about $14,000 per worker in 2018. They attributed the increases mainly “to expensive specialty drugs and individuals with high medical costs.” The article says this increase is “modest” compared to the double-digit hikes insurers are requesting for plans sold through the individual market. Data also show “employers will shoulder approximately 70 percent of those health costs, leaving employees on the hook for an average of $4,400, through premiums, out-of-pocket costs, and contributions to health savings accounts.”

Kaiser Health News  (8/8, Hancock) reports that two new surveys indicate “companies continue to try to control costs while backing away from shrinking or dropping health benefits.” The article says this is “a marked change from three years ago, when many big employers – those with 1,000 employees or more – contemplated ending medical benefits and shifting workers to the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces.” Three years ago, just 25 percent of large employers were “very confident” they would still be providing healthcare coverage for workers in a decade, but in the recent survey, that figure rose to 65 percent.

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