The new law will have major cost and compliance implications for employers, but companies will have to consider the broader marketplace as well. Health benefits packages can be integral to a company’s ability to attract and retain top talent, and employers will want to consider health plan decisions in that context. In 2009, employers offering health insurance spent an average $6,700 per employee—nearly double the amount spent in 2001. A recent PwC survey found that 60% of U.S. employers are planning to push more of the costs to their employees, while expecting more employee responsibility for managing personal health. Cost-shifting has many companies moving from an employee co-pay model to a co-insurance model, where the employee has a front-end deductible and then splits the remaining costs with the insurer. In addition, high-deductible health plans are increasingly being added as an option.
To prepare for the new health insurance market, employers will want to consider these questions: