Many employers, though, are considering changing plan design and the way coverage is offered.
For example, 37% of employers said that over the next three to five years, they expect to adopt what Aon Hewitt describes as a “house money/house rules approach.” Under that approach, employers might reduce premiums for employees who take health risk questionnaires or biometric screenings, for example. Others might waive prescription drug copayments for employees who can demonstrate they are following their doctor's orders with regard to chronic conditions, Aon Hewitt said.
In addition, 28% of respondents said they expect to move to private health insurance exchanges over the next three to five years. Under that approach, employees receive a fixed monetary credit to use to purchase coverage available through insurers offering policies through the exchange.
“While this option may not be a fit for every employer, it is increasingly attractive to those organizations that want to offer employees healthcare choice while lowering future cost trends and lessening the administrative burden associated with sponsoring a health plan,” Mr. Winkler said.
Some employers already are offering employees and retirees coverage through private exchanges. For example, Aon Hewitt last year launched an exchange in which about 100,000 employees, including U.S. employees of parent company Aon P.L.C., as well as Sears Holding Corp. of Hoffman Estates, Ill., and Darden Restaurants Inc. of Orlando, Fla. — selected and enrolled in plans offered through the exchange.