Healthcare Business News

Most employers will keep offering workers health insurance: survey

By Paul Demko
Posted: February 19, 2014 - 12:45 pm ET

The vast majority of employers will continue to offer workers health insurance coverage in the coming years, but many will alter the way they deliver those benefits, according to a new survey by Aon Hewitt (PDF).

Of the 1,230 companies surveyed, employing more than 10 million workers, 95% indicated that they expect to continue offering employees health insurance coverage during the next three to five years.

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But a third of those companies stated that they expect to use a private exchange in the future to allow employees to pick a health plan that fits their needs. That would be a significant spike from the 5% that said they do so now.

Altogether, roughly 70% of companies surveyed indicated that they expect to provide a benefits package that gives workers some choice in what type of plan they enroll in, compared with 45% that said they currently require employees to select coverage.

Just 5% of employers surveyed by Aon Hewitt, a global human resources firm, expected to stop providing health coverage in the next three to five years.

“Traditional cost-management tactics do not address foundational issues in healthcare, including worsening population health and misaligned provider payment methodologies,” said Jim Winkler, Aon Hewitt's chief innovation officer for health and benefits, in a statement. “Employers remain committed to providing health benefits, but recognize the need for new approaches that fix those problems.”

The Aon Hewitt survey also found that the number of companies offering health benefits to retirees has declined significantly over the last decade. Just 25% of large employers offer such benefits now, down from 50% in 2004.

Follow Paul Demko on Twitter: @MHpdemko

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