Survey: Employers Vague on Health Care Reform Costs

New York — June 9

Although health care reform is a top concern for U.S. employers, most organizations have not measured its cost impact, according to a survey released by the Willis Human Capital Practice, a unit of risk advisor Willis Group Holdings.

Only 37 percent of respondents have identified the cost impact of health care reform on their health plans in 2014, the survey showed. While this is an increase over the 28 percent of respondents that had identified these costs in last year’s survey, it demonstrates that for many organizations determining an accurate assessment of these figures is still a challenge, the survey said.

Of the respondents that identified a cost impact of health care reform, more than half (54 percent) noted a cost increase between 0-5 percent, while 22 percent estimated their increase in the 5- to 10-percent range.

Meanwhile, group medical costs for employers continue to rise, according to the survey. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) indicated their health plan costs increased in 2014.

Employers generally do not plan to eliminate group medical benefits as part of their compensation practices, the survey showed. Sixty percent of respondents said they were extremely unlikely to “move away from benefit engagement,” and another 17 percent said they were somewhat unlikely to do so.

Source: Willis