Large employers may not change health benefits all that much in 2012, but bigger changes could be coming in 2013 or 2014.
Towers Watson & Company, New York (NYSE:TW), covers the large-employer health benefits market in a summary of results from a recent survey of 368 large U.S. employers.
The employers’ average annual cost of medical and pharmacy benefits is about $11,200 per active employee.
Participants said they expect the cost of health care for active employees to increase an average of just 5.9% in 2012, down from 7.6% this year. Back in 2010, large employers told Towers Watson they thought their health benefits costs were going to increase 8.2% in 2011.
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Few of the employers are talking about drastic changes in health benefits in 2012 as a result of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
But 53% of the employers said they expect to see PPACA take effect roughly as written, without being repealed, and 88% said their companies will try to keep health benefits packages from triggering the PPACA “Cadillac plan” excise test.