Mercer is calling 2011 record-breaking, with employers adding the most consumer-directed health plans, as 32% of employers with 500 or more employers offer such plans, versus to 23% in 2010. Small employers, those with 10 to 499 workers, are also more likely to offer CDHPs, going from 16% in 2010 to 20% in 2011.
The survey notes that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act triggered a provision this year requiring employers extend coverage to employees' children up to age 26. That resulted in enrollment increasing by an average of 2% in 2011. Meanwhile, the number of large employers offering plans to Medicare-eligible patients dropped to a record low at 16% and 24% of large employers offering plans to retirees under 65. That's down from 19% and 25% last year.
The No. 1 concern from employers, Mercer says, is the choice they'll make in 2014 to either offer coverage to workers or a pay a penalty. For small employers, 19% said they'll drop plans, down 1% from last year. Meanwhile, 9% of large employers said they'd drop coverage, rising 3% compared to 2010.