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2014 and 2015 Trends for Employer-based Health Insurance

By November 19, 2014Commentary

AonHewitt used its database of 561 employers covering 13 million employees and dependents to calculate medical trend and employee cost-sharing for 2013, 2014 and projected 2015.  (AH Release)   Total cost per employee for 2013 was $10,266 or up 3.3% from the prior year.  In 2014, trend is estimated at 4.4%  up to $10,717 and for 2015 it will grow to 5.5% or $11,304 in spending per employee.  Employees are bearing a significant chunk of this premium cost.  In 2013 they paid $2355, in 2014 $2295 and in 2015 will bear about 24% of the premium at $2664.  In addition to the premium share, employees also have service cost-sharing in the form of copays, deductibles, and coinsurance.  The average out-of-pocket for these was $2005 in 2013, $2295 in 2014 and will be $2487 in 2015.  Over the five-year period up to 2015, the combination of employee premium-sharing and cost-sharing will have risen 52%.

Employers continue to explore innovative and not-so-innovative methods to keep these health costs down.  About 15% of employers are now offering only a high deductible plan to workers and 40% say they likely will do so in the next 3 to 5 years.  60% say they will give an employee richer benefits if they take certain actions like filling out a health assessment, taking biometric screenings or engaging in wellness programs.  Who gets paid for is also a focus, with 22% reducing what they pay for the total cost of dependent coverage, 50% using per person pricing instead of employee and family tiers, and 58% auditing whether a dependent is entitled to coverage.  24% of companies steer employees to quality providers now and 56% say they will in the next five years.  18% use something like a medical home, with 56% more also planning this tactic in the coming 3-5 years.  Private exchanges are also seeing strongly increased interest.

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