Employers: Top Priority Is Controlling Health Insurance Costs
By Gary S. Mogel
The need to control rising health insurance costs is the top employer priority in the employee benefits arena, reports a new survey by Deloitte & Touche LLP and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists.
It is the fourth consecutive year that the upward march of health and welfare expenses has topped employers benefits-related agenda, according to the survey.
Employees, who have seen their nest eggs eroded by the falling stock market, cited retirement issues as their key concern, the survey revealed.
Almost 86% of employer respondents chose controlling health and welfare costs as one of their top five priorities. For 67%, it was their number one objective.
“This survey finding re-emphasizes how critical cost management remains for employers,” says Richard Kleinert, a principal with Deloitte & Touches human capital advisory service practice. “Clearly, cost is still king.”
Other high priorities cited by employers included complying with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and similar state and local employee privacy laws, expanding technology for benefit communications and administration, and providing financial planning tools to employees.