A new survey indicates that many employers are taking more proactive steps to reduce their health insurance costs.
According to the 17th annual Towers Watson National Business Group on Health Employer Survey, healthcare costs for employer-sponsored plans are projected to rise nearly 6 percent this year. As a result, costs per employee are anticipated to exceed $11,600 in 2012, far outpacing last year's $10,982.
Due to this trend of growing expenses, companies say they are implementing more aggressive strategies. For example, four in 10 said they are working to develop a culture where employees are more accountable for their own health. In addition, 40 percent said they are taking another look at their employer-sponsored plans to see what's being offered.
"As employers try to maintain the balance between containing costs and offering competitive total rewards packages, they are realizing that their future healthcare benefit choices are not quite as simple as 'paying or playing," said Ron Fontanetta, Towers Watson's senior health care consulting leader. "In fact, there is a wide spectrum of design choices that will allow employers to develop a healthcare strategy that matches their unique objectives and workforce demographics."
The healthcare choices employers make could ultimately impact insurance sales, as some insurance customers may opt for private plans.