The US economic situation has conspired with ongoing health care cost inflation to increase financial issues that employers face in offering health care benefits to employees. Couple that with uncertainty about how the Obama Administration will handle health care reform and we are not surprised to see some of the trends reported in the Latest Hewitt Associates Report on trends in health care.
• Nearly 20 percent of employers responding to a new survey are planning to stop offering health benefits over the next three to five years, nearly five times as many as the 4 percent that said they were planning an exit strategy last year.
• Most employers plan on reducing both employer health care subsidies (65%) and benefit design offerings (49%).
• Many employers are planning to increase the prevalence of consumer-driven health care plans (40%) and wellness programs (33%).
Source: Challenges for Health Care in Uncertain Times, 2009: Hewitt’s 10th Annual Health Care Report. www.hewittassociates.com.
At Medical Cost Advocate we recommend that consumers take a more active role in locating and using consumer driven health care services so they can better adapt to the changes that are coming and better manage health care liabilities they may unexpectedly be saddled with.