Health Care Costs Increase at Slower Rate

June 25, 2008    

The 2008 Compensation Data results showed the average premium increase was 7.2 percent for all plan types this year.

Kansas City, Kan. – Although most U.S. organizations saw an increase in their health insurance premium, the average premium increase is decreasing, according to the preliminary results for the Compensation Data 2008 annual survey. The results showed the average premium increase was 7.2 percent for all plan types this year.

While health insurance premiums are rising, they have been increasing at a lower rate for the last five years. In 2007, the average premium increase was 11.1 percent and then, 11.6 percent the previous year. When comparing plans in 2008, 68.2 percent of organizations offering PPO plans saw an average increase of 7.3 percent. Those offering HMO and POS plans had average premium increases of 7.5 and 7.4 percent respectively. HDHP plans had increases of 5 percent.

“Less than 50 percent of the organizations offering HDHP plans had a health insurance premium increase in 2008,” said Amy Kaminski, manager of marketing programs for Compdata Surveys. “Comparatively, over 68 percent of employers had increases with PPO and HMO plans.”

To contain rising costs, U.S. organizations utilized a variety of methods. The most highly used was coordination of benefits at 70.5 percent in 2008, while wellness programs were employed by 69.8 percent. Use of a network of health care professionals was prevalent, as 65.1 percent of organizations used it to contain costs.

The preliminary national results showed 37.5 percent of companies increased the employee portion of the premium in their efforts to reduce costs. This is less than the percentage seen in 2006. Currently, 28.4 and 15.9 percent of organizations increased deductible levels and employee co-insurance levels, respectively. On average, employers contribute 10 percent of payroll toward the cost of health benefits, which is nearly the same cost to provide all of the following benefits: dental, pension, life, disability and other non-mandated benefits.

About the Survey
Compensation Data 2008 contains data on 637 job titles ranging from entry-level to top executives. Information was collected from millions of employees across the country. The results provide a comprehensive summary of pay data, benefits information and pay practices with an effective date of March 1, 2008.

Compdata Surveys is the nation’s leading compensation and benefits survey data provider. Data is collected annually from thousands of organizations across the country. Compdata Surveys has been providing accurate, reliable data at affordable prices to organizations from coast to coast since 1988.  For further information about the compensation and benefits surveys, contact Amy Kaminski at (800) 300-9570.

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