Rising Health Care Costs: Driving Factor Causing Changes to Employer Health Plans, SHRM Survey Finds

Jul 13, 2016
Rising health care costs remain a primary driver for how other benefit costs are allocated, as employers continue evaluating the impact of the Affordable Care Act. 

According to a new survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), preferred provider organization (PPO) plans (offered by 84 percent of U.S. employers) continue to be the most common type of health care coverage. However, consumer-directed health care plans such as health savings accounts (HSAs) increased from 2012 and 2015, as did employer contributions to HSAs compared with 2012 (both by 7 percent).

Other health care findings: 

Ninety-six percent of organizations offered some type of health care plan to their employees. 
Mail order prescriptions have gone down by 6 percent over the past five years.
Eighty-five percent of organizations offer mental health coverage, compared to 91 percent just last year.
Organizations were evenly split as to whether they offered coverage to spouses who had access to health care coverage through another employer, or if there was a spousal surcharge for health care coverage. 
Several new health-related items added to the survey this year: health care services such as diagnosis, treatment or prescriptions provided by photo or video (23 percent), high deductible health plan not linked to an HSA or a health reimbursement account (HRA) (17 percent), genetic testing coverage for diseases such as cancer (12 percent) and a smoking surcharge for health care plans (20 percent). 

The full survey is available online at: 

To read the press release on this survey, please visit: 

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Vanessa Hill of SHRM Public Affairs at 703-535-6072 or Vanessa.Hill@shrm.org.

About the Society for Human Resource Management
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit us at shrm.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SHRMPress. 


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