Survey: Employers to Push More Health Care Costs to Metro Detroit Workers in 2015

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Employers in southeastern Michigan plan to increase the share of health care costs to nearly 90 percent of employees in 2015, says a recent survey from the American Society of Employers in cooperation with Priority Health. Additionally, 2 percent of employers are considering dropping employer-sponsored health insurance in 2015.

“We anticipate employers will continue to look for ways to control health care costs more seriously in part due to the (Affordable Care Act),” says Mary Corrado, president and CEO of the Livonia-based society. “And while employer-sponsored coverage is likely to continue, the majority of employees should expect to see changes in their health plans.”

The survey outlined efforts by employers to control costs associated with health care, with the most popular method (at 89 percent) being to increase the employee’s share of the health care costs via higher deductibles, co-pays, and/or share of the health premium.

More than 70 percent of those surveyed have or plan to implement changes to their prescription drug plan, involving the increased use of RX formularies where the uses of less costly drugs are incentivized by lower co-pays. Of those surveyed, 71 percent have implemented or expanded, or plan to implement or expand their wellness programs.

Other cost-cutting methods include the implementation or expansion of high-deductible health plans (68 percent) and changing, or considering changing, health insurance companies or administrators (50 percent).

The survey, taken among 118 employers representing various industries and company sizes, also suggests the Affordable Care Act will not have a significant negative impact on how employers staff their organizations, Corrado says. Most employers surveyed (89 percent) indicate they have not reduced the size of their workforce (and don’t plan to) as a result of the legislation.

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