Now that the summer is almost at an end, time to get back to the topic at hand…health care.
In an article late last week, Kathryn Mayer, Managing Editor of Benefits Selling magazine, wrote that nine in 10 employers said that they are facing increases in the premiums they pay for employee health plans.
Nearly 25%, or 1 in 4 employers are seeing rate increases in double-digits, according to research released last Thursday by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Gallagher surveyed more than 3,000 US employers from dozens of industries around the country.
According to James Durkin, president of Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc.:
“Employers are examining all available options to rein in medical costs, while still offering competitive benefits packages that help them attract and retain the best employees in a tightening labor market, With the Cadillac tax due to take effect in 2018, employers are expected to turn to newer, alternative cost-control tactics.”
Employers are increasingly requiring employees to shoulder a larger share of the expense in higher deductibles, and Gallagher reported that 67% are cost-shifting [emphasis added] to employees.
Gallagher also said that in-network family plan deductibles average $3,000, while out-of-network deductibles average $4,500.
Annual deductibles for employee-only, in-network plans now average $1,200, and out-of-network deductibles are an average of $2,000.
About half of employers said they are considering changing carriers to lower costs.
Lastly, nearly all employers (97%), said they will continue to provide employer-sponsored coverage to employees.
Some of the other things Gallagher’s report said was that employers would offer health savings accounts to employees (36%), implement mandatory generic drug policies (15%), and offer reduced network access or narrow provider networks (11%). 35 % may self-insure, while 13 % might offer narrower networks in the next three years.
So, what does this mean to you?
If employers cost-shift the premium hikes to their employees, many of them might do the same, and cost-shift health care to workers’ comp, which has been discussed many times in the past.
One way Gallagher did not mention that employers should try, and why should they, because they can’t think outside of the box, is have them think outside of the border, and consider medical travel for surgery and certain medical treatments and procedures too expensive in the US, and especially if the employees cost-shift to workers’ comp.
I am willing to work with any broker, carrier, or employer interested in saving money on expensive surgeries, and to provide the best care for their injured workers or their client’s employees.
Call me for more information, next steps, or connection strategies at (561) 738-0458 or (561) 603-1685, cell. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask me any questions you may have on how to save money on expensive surgeries under workers’ comp.