NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Employers Shift Rising Health Care Costs to Employees

August 22, 2011

As health care costs continue to rise, businesses are increasingly passing on the added burden to their employees, reports The Hill.

  • Higher cost-sharing for employees is the primary way in which employers are trying to control their own health care spending, according to a new survey from the National Business Group on Health.
  • The organization, which mostly represents large companies, said more than half of the employers it surveyed plan to make employees cover a greater share of their health care costs.
  • Businesses are shifting away from copays, wherein employees pay a fixed dollar amount for health care services and the plan picks up the rest.
  • Instead, they're charging workers a percentage of the total costs.
  • That can help make consumers more aware of the total cost of the health care they use.

Employers are expecting their health care costs to rise by slightly more than 7 percent next year, according to the survey -- roughly the same increase that businesses budgeted for this year.  Businesses are also looking ahead to figure out how they'll need to adjust their policies because of health care reform.

Source: Sam Baker, "Survey: Employers Shift Rising Health Costs to their Workers," The Hill, August 18, 2011.

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