Latest Trends

Cost Expected to Rise 7%

According to a new survey by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH), employer-provided health care benefits are expected to rise an additional 7% in 2013. Sixty percent of employers plan to increase the percentage of the premium paid by employees in 2013; however, most indicated it would be by less than 5%.

Employers now consider consumer directed health plans (CDHPs) and wellness initiatives to be more effective at stemming costs than shifting costs to employees. To help contain costs, more than 70% of employers will offer CDHPs next year.

In their continued efforts to engage employees in healthy behaviors, employers plan to sharply increase the incentive amount for maintaining a healthy lifestyle or participating in a wellness program. Among employers that offer incentives, the median amount employees can earn will jump 50% from $300 this year to $450 in 2013. The median incentive amount that dependents can earn is expected to increase from $250 this year to $375 next year.

Health Savings Accounts Skyrocket

According to the Devenir Midyear 2012 survey and research report, through June 30, HSAs have grown to over $14.1 billion in assets, representing 7.1 million accounts. This indicates a year over year increase greater than 12% for accounts and an approximate 21% increase in assets from June 2011 to June 2012.

Primary Care from Specialist Doctors

According to a 2011 study, two in five U.S. adults are visiting specialists for their general health care needs. Many individuals believe that specialists are better at treating specific conditions.

Evidence shows that in health care systems based on primary care, patients see better outcomes. A study from 2011 found that seniors living in areas with more primary care doctors were less likely to be hospitalized with a preventable disease and had lower death rates.

Many think a shortage of family doctors may be driving people to specialists. Incentives to encourage doctors to specialize in primary care were part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

To view other articles from the SIP Fall Newsletter, please click here.

In cooperation with NAEBA

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