Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Slashing Benefits: Employers Expect Premium Increases to be Only 4% After Cutting Benefits This Year

Whenever we see trend forecasts out there, it is paramount to distinguish if that projected increase is before or after changes.  Here are some highlights from a recent employer survey published by Globe Newswire:
  • 78% of employers project they will make even further changes (erode benefit levels) in their health plan designs and vendor strategies over the next four years, according to a survey of U.S. employers. 
  • After these expected changes, employers anticipate cost increases in 2016 to be around 4%, more than twice the Consumer Price Index. 
  • Electronic telemedicine physician visits are rapidly becoming ubiquitous: 67% of employers offer them today [as most carriers have embedded them in some form]; by 2018, that number could increase to 90%.
  • Employer-owned or sponsored workplace health centers remain appealing: 22% of employers have one or more today; by 2018, that number could grow to 40%.