Medical Insurance Costs Increase for Utility Companies

June 17, 2010    

The newly released 2010 Compensation Data Utilities survey results show utility companies had an average premium increase of 10.2 percent.

Despite legislation recently passed to bring costs in line, providing medical insurance continues to grow increasingly expensive for utility employers across the country.  The newly released 2010 Compensation Data Utilities survey results show utility companies had an average premium increase of 10.2 percent. More than 70 percent of survey respondents report paying more than $9,600 annually for an employee plus family plan.

Employee plus spouse plans cost employers more than $7,200 per year. Utility organizations pay more than $2,400 each year for employee only coverage, with employees paying more than $300 per year for the same coverage. Although employees have become responsible for paying a larger portion of their medical insurance premiums over the last few years, employers still cover over 70 percent of the total cost.

“Employers have been feeling the financial pinch of increasing medical costs for several years now,” said Amy Kaminski, director of marketing for Compdata Surveys, the nation’s leading pay and benefits survey data provider. “The economic downturn of the last couple of years has only amplified financial concerns, causing organizations to increase their efforts to find ways to mitigate some of the costs of providing medical coverage for their employees.”

To reduce costs, utility companies employed a variety of methods.  Increasing the employee portion of the premium was most prevalent at 50 percent, with an increase in deductible levels following at 43.6 percent. The results showed that 25.5 percent of organizations increased employee co-insurance levels. Offering a choice of deductible levels was utilized by 19.1 percent of survey respondents.

Cost containment measures are also a popular option as 88.2 percent of organizations surveyed use coordination of benefits to bring costs in line. More than 60 percent of utility companies employ disease management, pharmacy benefit management and utilization reviews to contain costs. Pre-existing condition clauses are utilized by 39 percent of survey respondents.

About the Compensation Data Utilities Survey
Compensation Data Utilities 2010 contains data on over 100 industry-specific job titles and more than 250 benchmark titles ranging from entry-level to top executives. Data is collected annually from utility employers across the country. The results provide a comprehensive summary of pay data, benefit information and pay practices with an effective date of February 1, 2010.

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