Employers Will Offer More Consumer-Directed Health Plans in 2012; They Should Enhance Tools, Too

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

First posted 8/22/11 on Health Populi

The good news: U.S. employers’ forecast their health benefit costs will grow at a slower pace in 2012 than in 2011, 7.2% versus 7.4%. The bad news: that’s only a 0.2% slowdown, and it’s still twice the rate of overall price inflation.

Furthermore, workers’ wages have been stagnant over the year, and the price of food and home goods haven’t stayed even, either.

The National Business Group on Health’s survey of American employers finds that managing health costs continues to be a front-burner issue for business. Controlling those costs is a strategic imperative for businesses, large and small. Thus, in 2012, employers will put an even sharper focus on tactics to bring health care costs down — that is, their health care costs. Workers’ costs for health will rise, as a result.

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