U.S. Employers Expect Rate of Increase in Health Care Costs in 2015 to Remain Low, but Well Above Inflation

October 22, 2015

Employers expect a 4.1% rate of increase in the cost of employer-sponsored health care benefits in 2015 – the lowest in 15 years but well above inflation — according to an annual survey by global professional services company Towers Watson (NASDAQ: TW) and the National Business Group on Health (NBGH), an association of large employers.

Nervertheless, the survey found that employers are more committed to providing some form of health care coverage to employees over the next 10 years than they have been in recent years. Employer confidence in offering health care coverage 10 years from now has nearly doubled to 44% today from 25% in 2014.

“Against the backdrop of sluggish economic growth and low inflation – which limits the degree to which companies can raise prices on goods and services – employers continue to aggressively manage their health benefit plans to rein in costs,” said Randall K. Abbott, a North American leader and senior strategist in Towers Watson’s Health and Group Benefits practice. “By and large, employers have done a good job managing costs in recent years. Despite this success, the ACA’s excise tax looms ahead in 2018, and 4 out of 5 employers now identify changes to health and pharmacy plan designs as their most important strategic priority.”

For more information about what additional actions employers are considering to manage costs, and additional survey findings, read the entire press release here.

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