Being one of those employers trying to control healthcare costs for many years before I retired, I can relate to all the following. The fact is employers can do virtually nothing to actually control these costs … except one thing and that’s shift more costs to the employees.
U.S. employers expect healthcare costs to rise by 6% next year, after the 5% increase they’ve seen in 2022, according to a Willis Towers Watson (WTW) survey. Over half (54%) of the approximately 455 respondents who employ 8.2 million people say that their healthcare costs will be over budget this year.
“With no end in sight to projected cost increases, the need to manage healthcare costs and address employee affordability has never been greater,” Courtney Stubblefield, WTW’s insights and solutions leader, said in a press release.
Some measures employers are considering for next year include:
Source: Fierce Healthcare
- Structuring payroll contributions to cut costs for certain groups, such as low-wage earners (28%)
- Offering low-deductible plans to reduce cost sharing for employees (32%)
- Combating fraud, waste and abuse (27%)
- Increasing funding for their healthcare plans without taking that money from paychecks or other benefits (20%)
- Implementing a defined contribution strategy with a fixed dollar amount that will differ according to what tier an employee is at (41%)
- Using employee payroll contributions as a percent of total compensation or income as the basis for benefit design decisions (13%)
- Hiking out-of-pocket costs for the use of less efficient services or sites of service such as non-preferred labs (23%)
- Adding or improving enhanced voluntary benefits or use of vendors in cases of catastrophic events (35%)