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Employers look far and wide to reduce expenses

MANAGED CARE August 2011. © MediMedia USA
Managed Care Outlook

Employers look far and wide to reduce expenses

MANAGED CARE August 2011. ©MediMedia USA

Although many employers cover much or most of the cost of health premiums, 36 percent expect to increase participants’ deductibles or copayments in 2011, with another 54 percent contemplating doing the same over the next three to five years, according to the “2011 Health Care Survey” by Aon Hewitt.

The report says that employers will explore many options to reduce their contributions to employees’ health care coverage.

Expect these increases:

  • Surcharges for dependents. Currently only 18 percent of employers report an increase in these surcharges, but that is going to change, with 55 percent considering a hike in 2011–2016.
  • Data-driven approaches. One half of employers report they are “increasingly reliant on data to find cost savings (e.g., compare results to norms, identify key cost drivers).” Up to 29 percent more plan to do so over the next few years.
  • Vendor management/use of high-performing networks. Nearly half have implemented strategies to consolidate their health care program with a single vendor or health plan. Another 29 percent expect to adopt such an approach in the next three to five years. Forty percent of employers now use high-performing networks, but another 45 percent are expected to adopt that approach in the next three to five years.

Activities implemented to reduce expenses

Source: 2011 Health Care Survey. New Paths. New Approaches. Aon Hewitt, 2011