Employees Likely to See Changes in Health Benefits

Employees can expect a number of changes to their health benefits due to  rising health costs and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) according to Aon Hewitt. The following are some of the most notable changes employees may see include:

  • A higher price tag – Aon Hewitt’s research shows that most employers plan to subsidize employees’ health coverage at the same percentage rate as last year. However, as health care costs increase, the amount of money employees will need to contribute more. In addition, almost one in five employers has increased surcharges for adult dependents with access to coverage elsewhere.
  • More options for coverage – Some employees — particularly those who are not offered health coverage through their employer — may wish to purchase individual coverage through the new state and federal marketplaces.
  • A higher probability of being in a consumer-driven health plan – Consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) have surpassed HMOs as the second most offered plans. In fact, a growing number of employers are offering CDHPs as the only plan option. While just 10% of companies do so today, another 44% are considering it in the next three to five years.
  • Programs that promote health awareness and education – With employers facing the rising health care costs and declining health of the population, employees can expect to see more programs that encourage them to take a more active role in managing their health.  For example, 75% of employers offer health risk questionnaires and 71% offer biometric screenings such as blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • More incentive opportunities for exhibiting healthy behavior  – Workers can also expect to see an more employers providing incentived through a reward or a penalty — related to completion of programs, such as HRQs and biometric screenings. Eighty-three percent of employers have such an incentive in place now.
  • New eligibility rules – Employers may be making changes to rules that determine which employees are eligible for health coverage, particularly as they evaluate requirements of the employer mandate provision of the ACA, which was delayed until 2015.  In addition, the recent Supreme Court decision that resulted in federal recognition of same-sex marriages may mean more dependents will now be eligible for benefits coverage.

For more information, visit www.aonhewitt.com.

Last Updated 11/25/2020

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