A few weeks ago Stephen Miller, CEBS, wrote an excellent SHRM article on projected health plan costs for 2021. Mr. Miller referenced a new survey conducted a few months ago by the nonprofit Business Group on Health (BGH). The survey garnered 122 large employers offering coverage to more than 9.2 million employees and dependents. Over two-thirds of the responding companies each have more than 10,000 employees.
The projected increase in health benefit costs is expected to increase by 5.3 percent for next year. This equates to a projected per employee cost of over $15,500 which includes premiums and employees’ out-of-pocket costs. The survey indicated that large employers paid 70 percent of these costs and the employees cover the remaining 30 percent. Thus, the large employers will be covering around $10,850 and the employees $4,650.
Given the significant health care cost outlay that large employers are providing, the survey also listed several priorities for 2021 to mitigate next year’s increase as well as overall health plan costs. The items below would be good for all employers to focus on in 2021.
- Offer more types of virtual care/telehealth services
- Expand access to mental health services
- Focus strategy on moderating high-cost claims
- Offer care through centers of excellence for additional conditions
- Adopt networks of high-performance health care providers
- Link health care with workforce strategy
- Focus on primary care
- Address high-cost drug therapies