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Employers Hold the Line On Health Benefit Cost Growth


US employers took action on several fronts to hold growth in the average per-employee cost of health benefits to just 3.9% in 2014, according to Mercer’s National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans. While this was a bigger increase than last year’s, it is still well below the 7% average rate of growth over the past 15 years. Mercer’s nationally projectable annual survey includes public and private organizations with 10 or more employees; 2,569 employers responded in 2014.

“Employers have done a remarkable job of holding down health cost growth for the past few years,” said Julio A. Portalatin, President and CEO of Mercer. “But with enrollment almost certain to rise in 2015 as major ACA provisions go into effect, they’ll need to intensify their efforts. The strong interest they’re showing in private exchanges suggests that this new benefit delivery system is an innovation they have been waiting for.”

Learn more about health plan trends and developments in the US.

The full report on Mercer’s survey (including a separate appendix of tables of responses broken out by employer size, region, and industry) will be published in April 2015. For more information, visit www.mercer.com/ushealthplansurvey.