Large Employers Anticipate A Lower Increase In Health Costs

Large employers “estimate their health care benefit costs will increase an average of 7.2 percent in 2012,” slightly “lower than this year’s 7.4 percent average increase,” a new survey from the National Business Group on Health concludes. The businesses said they will continue to adopt cost-control mechanisms that will shift the cost burden onto employees: “More than half of respondents (53 percent) plan to increase the percentage that employees contribute to the premiums, while 39 percent plan to increase in-network deductibles. Additionally, about one in four employers plans to increase out-of-network deductibles (23 percent) and out-of-pocket maximums (22 percent) next year.”