Employee health benefit costs are expected to increase next year at more than twice the rate of inflation. In response, large U.S. employers plan to have workers share more of the burden, according to a survey from the National Business Group on Health.
Employers estimate benefit costs will increase an average of 7.2 percent in 2012, slightly lower than this year's 7.4 percent jump. To help control those increases and drive down costs to avoid the so-called Cadillac tax, employers are planning to increase employees' contribution to premiums (53 percent), in-network deductibles (39 percent), out-of-network deductibles (23 percent) and out-of-pocket maximums (22 percent).
In addition, 73 percent of employers will offer at least one consumer-directed health plan in 2012.
For more information, go to www.businessgrouphealth.org.