Health Care Cost Hike Worries a Key 2011 Business Issue

December 30, 2010 ( – Some 95% of the 600 employers surveyed by Aon Hewitt say a top business issue are steadily rising health care costs that have more than doubled over a decade, according to Aon Hewitt.

An Aon Hewitt report said, in fact it is predicting 2011 heath cost increases to be the highest in five years – an 8.8% average premium hike for employers compared to 6.9% in 2010 and 6% in 2009. The reasons for the increase: recent higher medical claim costs, an aging population and changes created by health care reform. Aon Hewitt said premium costs went from $4,038 in 2001 to $9,821 in 2011.

According to the report, employer strategies for dealing with the increases have included:

  • Increased employee cost sharing including increased use of co-insurance
  • Managing dependent eligibility and subsidies
  • Aggressive vendor management and consolidation and replacing vendors not delivering measurable results
  • Improving employee health through disease management and using penalties and incentives to increase employee participation in the health improvement efforts.

The report said employee costs have consistently increased over the past seven years. In 2011, employee contributions are projected to increase to $2,209 and employee out of picket costs are projected to increase to $2,177.

The Aon Hewitt report is here.