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Tag: Cost Control

Employers 2.0

The most significant force for health system transformation in the United States is employer activism.

This month’s decision to delay the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate until 2016 coupled with dramatic increases in health insurance premium costs assures employers will play a stronger role going forward.

The facts:

57% of all companies provide health insurance covering 149 million in the population. But participation varies widely by industry and size of company.

Participation: Manufacturing (72%), Services (65%), Transportation/Utilities/Communications (62%), Agriculture/Mining/Construction (60%), Wholesale (54%), Healthcare  (51%), Financial services (49%), Retail (29%) (Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employers)

Size: Smaller companies under 199 are less likely to provide health benefits than larger companies, though premiums they pay to insurers are slightly lower than their larger counterparts.

Declines in employer sponsored coverage declines are due to costs, not the Affordable Care Act. Consider: the percentage of non-elderly workers with employer-sponsored coverage decreased from 68% in 2000 to 61% in 2009 before the law passed.

Employers pay 82% of health costs for singles and 71% of costs for those in their family health plans. Over the past decade, they have shifted more financial responsibility to their employees.

  • Premiums for employers from 2003-2013 increased 80% but employee contributions increased 89%.
  • At the same time, employers have reduced coverage for retirees and dependents, and in many industries, kept wages low to offset health cost increases.

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