Employers Aim to Contain Healthcare Costs

November 8, 2011    

Providing medical care is growing more expensive each day and as a result, employers across the country are seeking ways to reduce the overall cost of providing healthcare benefits to their employees. The newly released Benefits USA 2011/2012 survey results found the cost of providing healthcare benefits comprises more than 10 percent of companies’ payroll.

To aid in reducing the cost of providing medical insurance, organizations employed various methods.
Increasing the employee portion of the premium was used by 60.4 percent of companies surveyed. Increasing deductible levels and employee co-insurance levels followed at 46.4 and 28.4 percent, respectively. Offering a choice of deductible levels was used at a rate of 21.4 percent compared to switching carriers at 18 percent.

Cost containment measures remain a popular option to control healthcare costs as 83.9 percent of organizations use coordination of benefits to bring costs in line. Nearly 59 percent of survey respondents employed utilization reviews, while 63.2 percent of employers used disease management. Requiring a second surgical opinion is used the least, 11.8 percent.

“Attention to wellness has become a popular theme today, and many employers recognize the benefits in assisting employees in maintaining their health,” said Amy Kaminski, director of marketing for Compdata Surveys, the nation’s leading compensation and benefits survey data provider. “Healthy employees mean lower medical care costs and some studies have found productivity and work quality improves in conjunction with employees’ health.”

In order to assist employees in improving their health, employers are offering a variety of wellness options. According to the newly released results, 91.5 percent of companies offer flu shots to employees. Nearly 60 percent of organizations offer health risk assessments, followed by tobacco cessation programs at 58.8 percent. More than 47 percent of companies provide annual physicals, while 15.7 have an onsite health clinic available to employees.

About the Survey
Benefits USA 2011/2012 analyzes national and regional data on benefits eligibility and administration policies with detailed information on benefit plans, premiums and provisions. Information was collected from nearly 4,500 benefit plans covering more than 6 million employees across the country.

Compdata Surveys is the nation’s leading compensation and benefits survey data provider. Thousands of U.S. organizations provide data each year ensuring the reliability of our results. Compdata Surveys has been providing comprehensive data at affordable prices to organizations from coast to coast since 1988. For further information about their compensation and benefits surveys, contact Michelle Willis at (800) 300-9570.

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