“Some believed that patient cost-sharing had reached a saturation point and that employers would have to find alternatives to moderate premium increases,” said Paul Ginsburg, president of the Center for Studying Health System Change, in a news release. “The recession and sluggish recovery changed those views, and employers continued to pass more costs along to employees.”
The study’s authors also found that employers are relying more on health and wellness programs that have built-in incentives to encourage employee participation.
“Given larger employers’ continuing reluctance to face employee resistance to tighter utilization controls or limited-provider networks, comprehensive wellness programs are regarded as one of the few remaining tools to manage care and control costs,” according to an issue brief released by the center, describing the study’s results.
High-deductible, consumer-driven health plans have also become more common as a means of controlling costs, the study found.