Report: Median Health Insurance Premiums Expected to Rise 5 percent in 2020

After median health insurance premium increases (after plan changes) of 3 percent for the 2018 and 2019 plan years, results of the annual Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey by the Livonia-based American Society of Employers (ASE) project median increases for 2020 to be 5 percent.
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American Society of Employers (ASE) projects median health insurance premium increases of 5 percent in 2020. // Photography courtesy of iStock

After median health insurance premium increases (after plan changes) of 3 percent for the 2018 and 2019 plan years, results of the annual Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey by the Livonia-based American Society of Employers (ASE) project median increases for 2020 to be 5 percent.

Median annual employer contributions to health savings accounts remained unchanged from the last three years with an employee only contribution totaling $500 and an employee plus family contribution totaling $1,000 in non-unionized organizations.

Cost containment strategies also were addressed in the survey. The No. 1 strategy that employers plan to implement in 2020 is increasing employee education regarding health plan features and costs (17 Percent). This was followed closely by plans to implement/expand wellness programs, which top the list of strategies that companies are considering but have yet to set a timeline.

Slightly more than a quarter of those surveyed reported considering future employee cost share arrangements where employees will be required to incur a greater portion of the healthcare expense.

“It is encouraging that employee education is increasingly utilized as a means to control costs,” says Mary E. Corrado, president and CEO of ASE. “Helping employees be better, more informed consumers is key as more companies implement high deductible health plans or, in general, require employees to share more of the healthcare expense.”

Some 217 organizations from across Michigan, representing a variety of industries participated in the survey. Companies with between 50 to 499 employees nationally made up more than 52 percent of the survey sample. Organizations with more than 500 employees nationally represented nearly 29 percent of the sample. The remaining 18 percent of the sample came from organizations with fewer than 50 employees nationally.

Other highlights from the survey include:

  • A majority of the participants (38 percent) reported offering two types of health plans.
  • The most utilized plan type continues to be the Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPO) with 86 percent of companies offering this option.
  • More non-union firms (39 percent) offer an HMO compared to 35 percent a year ago.
  • The three-tiered price structure (generic, preferred brand, and non-preferred brand) for prescription drug plans remains the most popular among traditional PPOs with 53 percent of non-unionized organizations reporting this structure.

To obtain a copy of ASE’s 2019 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey, contact ASE’s Survey Team at surveys@aseonline.org or 248.223.8025. It is available at no cost to ASE-member survey participants and for $1,350 for non-members.

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