Benefitfocus: Employers pay more for high deductible health plan enrollment

Employers in education, manufacturing, and retail are paying more for high-deductible health plans in an effort to drive adoption says Benefitfocus, Inc, a benefits management software company headquartered in Charleston.

The manufacturing industry is leading the way by offering high deductible health plans to employees.   File photo

Employers in education, manufacturing and retail are paying more to boost enrollment in high-deductible health plans, says Benefitfocus Inc., a benefits management software company headquartered in Charleston.

According to the State of Employee Benefits – Industry Edition released by Benefitfocus, 44 percent of education employers are offering high deductible health care plans, but employees are slow to switch, with HMOs still accounting for over a third of the enrollment choices made by employees.

Health care employees are seeing significant premium increases said the report, with employees paying 19 percent higher premiums for high deductible health plans and 17 percent higher premiums for PPOs.

The manufacturing industry is leading the way by offering high deductible health plans to employees, with over half of the companies making those plans available. Employers in the manufacturing industry are paying more for the new option however, with employer premiums rising 11 percent while employee costs for individual high deductible health plan coverage fell  nine percent.

“The shift to higher out-of-pocket health care costs is a radical change for many employees, requiring them to completely rethink the way they consume health care,” Benefitfocus co-founder and CEO Shawn Jenkins said in a statement released by the company. “Although different industries are offering and adopting HDHPs at varied rates, it’s clear all employers on the Benefitfocus Platform understand one size does not fit all, and that employees need more choice and education to protect their health and finances.”

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