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.