More favorable claim experience and a reduction in provider reimbursement rates were cited by respondents to Buck's 37th National Health Care Trend Survey as two key reasons for the projected slowdown in trend increases in 2019.
However, while 71% of employers see a positive impact on company health benefit costs from wellness programs, more than one-third say they do not offer these programs, the Transamerica Center for Health Studies found.
And public sector employers are more likely than their peers to offer a full range of benefits.
One key misconception to break is that Social Security is meant to be an adequate source of income on its own for retirees.
Only 4% of HSA owners invested their money, and when distributions were taken, investors took larger distributions than non-investors, EBRI found.
More midsize and large employers are foregoing the short-term savings offered by cost-shifting and turning to strategies addressing care delivery and health management, Mercer finds.
“Employers can now identify opportunities to develop local provider strategies that improve quality and lower costs,” says Todor Penev, with Aon.
They are rising 2.8%, in keeping with a rise in the DOL’s Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).
Investments in HSAs are solving for different outcomes than DC plans, so plan sponsors should take into account different considerations for investment selection.
Once participants understand health savings accounts (HSAs), plan sponsors can encourage them to invest their money and think about saving for future health care costs.
Even financially adept employees have trouble deciding where to save and how to spend.
Employers also plan to enhance their wellbeing programs and include initiatives that reduce the impact of chronic diseases on employees, Willis Towers Watson finds.
The “Saving at Work for a Rainy Day” report indicated that seven in ten employees would likely participate in an employer-based rainy-day savings program.
Consumers that are already enrolled in HSAs are more fluent, more engaged, and make savvier health and financial decisions than the general public, Alegeus finds.
Mercer projects that health benefit cost per employee will rise by 4.1% on average in 2019, down from 6.5% and 5.3% in previous years.
Those who have HSA assets invested have a $16,007 average total balance, more than eight times larger than a non-investment holder’s average account balance, Devenir finds.
IonTuition finds more than half (52%) of respondents still owe more than $15,000 in student loans, and the year-over-year data shows the number of respondents with more than $30,000 in student loans actually increased over time compared to initial borrowing.
Responses to a large survey of health care consumers suggests that workers now expect their employers to support physical, mental and emotional, and financial wellbeing equally.
Mercer’s Vitals for Change framework calls on employer health plan sponsors to demand more for their employees and their families in four key areas that target systemic problems in the health care system and drive positive disruption and innovation.