In a ‘Struggle for Expertise,’ Employers Maintain the Line on Well being Profit Prices


According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than half of Americans under the age of 65 had health insurance through an employer in 2020.

Families with work-related health insurance contributed an average of $ 5,600 to health insurance costs last year, with employers paying more than $ 15,000, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The foundation is expected to publish its report on the 2021 costs in November.

With all the moving parts, employers are going to take different ways to manage costs over the next year.

Nearly a third said they would consider narrowing the network of doctors and other providers available to patients, Willis Towers noted. (In June and July, 378 employers of various sizes were surveyed, representing nearly six million workers.) A quarter of employers said they charged an additional cost for a working spouse’s insurance if additional insurance was available from the spouse’s employer , and 9 percent said they planned to add such “spouse allowances” in the next year or two.

And in a trend to make care more affordable for low-wage workers, some employers may vary their contributions to workers’ health insurance premiums based on the employment and wage levels of the workers. Employers can contribute less to the health premiums of higher paid workers, putting more costs on them, and more to lower paid workers to help them pay for the care they need. About a quarter of employers are doing this now and 8 percent more are planning to do so in the coming years, Willis Towers found.

“It aims at affordability,” which is a “hot topic,” said Ms. Stone.

The financial services company Synchrony, which employs many hourly workers, has been using tiered bonuses for years. The company’s entry level health insurance starts at $ 2 per week for an individual and $ 10 per week for a family of five; senior employees may pay twice as much or ten times as much. The plans have the same type of coverage across the steps; only the reward varies, said Aaron Brown, the company’s senior vice president of Total Rewards.

“It is right to make sure that health care is affordable for our employees,” he said. The staff seem to be open-minded; The company says the percentage of employees who choose health insurance is constant across all pay levels.

Employers see mental health as a top priority, said Mercer’s Bernstein, and are responding by increasing the number of covered therapy visits and offering digital tools to improve access to providers. Online services such as Ginger, for example, enable employees to quickly plan remote visits and offer exercises to reduce anxiety.