Cost Growth Down Give Employers Credit for Their Hard Work

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Cost Growth Down Give Employers Credit for Their Hard Work
Calendar16 October 2014

Bloomberg published an interesting piece on the impact of Obamacare on corporate America that quoted a White House economist as saying that the slowing of the health care cost trend is “one of the most under-appreciated economic trends relative to its importance.” My response is that all the hard work employers are doing to manage costs, drive improved consumerism and quality of care is under-appreciated! The ACA had required employers to expand benefit eligibility, starting with the initial requirement to cover adult children up to age 26, which was a significant increase of covered lives for employers, and to enrich benefits by covering preventive care at 100% and eliminating lifetime maximums and dollar limits on services, to name a few of the requirements. At the same time that employers made these enhancements, they managed to keep cost growth below the annual 6% increases employers had all been “living with” prior to the ACA. Why? Because each year employers have worked harder to better hoan their programs to take advantage of the latest developments in consumer engagement, wellness, medical homes, condition management, and other innovations. We all know that our employees and their families are paying a bigger portion of the bill, too. All the efforts are paying off. But, unfortunately, we can’t let up – looming ahead is the Excise Tax in 2018.

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