The survey conducted by The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers found small groups of 50 or fewer employees saw the largest hikes, with 39% receiving increases of 11%-20%, compared with 62% reporting increases in that range in the Council’s May 2011 survey. Thirty-five percent of small groups received smaller increases that ranged from 1%-10%, compared to 13% in the earlier survey. Ten percent of small groups received no changes or price decreases compared to 3% in the earlier study.
In medium-size groups with 51-500 employees, 69% experienced hikes in the range of 6%-15%, compared with 75% in the May survey. Sixteen percent experienced increases of 1%-5%, no change, or decreases, compared to 8% in the May 2011 survey. Large accounts of greater than 500 employees also saw some moderation in pricing. Fourteen percent experienced no change or price decreases compared to 5% in the May survey. For the majority (61%) of large accounts, prices rose in the range of 1%-10%. Prices rose more than 10% for one in 10 (9%) large accounts, compared to 21% which had increases of that magnitude in the May survey.
Ninety-seven percent of respondents expressed some level of concern in regards to the impact of healthcare reform, with those very concerned registering at 51% in the November survey, while 46% said they were “somewhat concerned.” In the Council’s previous survey, 100% of responding group benefit consultants expressed some level of concern about the impact of PPACA on their business, with 59% being “very concerned.”
Group life insurance continued as an area of stability or savings for employers within the group benefits arena. For 15% of small accounts, renewal rates rose 1%-5%, but 51% reported no change, and renewals decreased for 13%. Twelve percent of medium accounts experienced rates increases of 1%-5%, while 53% saw no change, and 24% had renewal decreases. For large accounts, 8% saw renewal increases of 1%-5%, 39% saw no change, and 34% of large accounts saw decreases in group life rates.