HR Executives See Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Sustaining

Employer-sponsored health insurance is likely to remain in place for an extended period of time, about two dozen chief human resources officers told researchers with the American Health Policy Institute, according to a new report.

The executives say health insurance helps recruit employees, and then keeps them healthy and on the job. More than half of the insured people in the U.S. are covered through their employer.

The AHPI found that rising costs were the biggest concern employers face regarding health insurance. “Every employer we spoke to is frustrated with the high price of coverage and each is searching for new ways to hold down costs,” the report says.

Another challenge is that employees aren’t always the savviest shoppers, particularly when it comes to primary care, the report says. While employees may shop around during the enrollment period, they infrequently do when they need treatment, and often lack the information to do so, they found.

“HR executives as a whole believe there is a need to move toward more consumerism and in order to facilitate this, employees must be better educated on how to incorporate transparency and quality data into making specific health care decisions,” the report reads.

Other challenges for employers include complying with state and federal policies. The Affordable Care Act offers some areas of concern, such as the Cadillac Tax, which is the most major concern the report says. Other challenges are less obvious, like requiring all plans cover certain provisions that not all employees use, such as birth control.

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