Employers are shifting health plan costs to employees through increased contributions and plan design changes, a principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers said June 30, citing results of a survey by the firm.
“This year's survey results showed a stubborn frustration with rising health costs, but what surprised me is that employers are more typically using standard approaches for mitigating costs,” such as increasing contributions, Barbara Gniewek, a principal at PwC in New York, told Bloomberg BNA.
Even though the average annual increase in health-care costs, after plan changes are factored in, were lower than expected, employers are continuing to shift health plan costs to employees, according to the report, “Health and Well-Being Touchstone Survey results,” released June 24.
The increase in health care costs was 4.5 percent in 2013, compared with earlier projections of 5.4 percent. The expected annual increase for 2014 is 5.3 percent.
Some 38 percent of employers said they have increased employee cost sharing through medical plan design changes, and 47 percent said they are considering further hikes, the report said.