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June 13, 2011
BLR Survey: Despite Efforts at Control, Healthcare Costs Rose in 2010

Thirty-six percent of respondents reported spending up to $5,000 per employee on health care in 2010, with 56% reporting costs in the $5,000-10,000 range, and 18% reporting costs of per employee of over $10,000 per year, according to a recent survey of benefit costs by BLR.

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Unsurprisingly, this represents a significant rise in the number of companies experiencing higher healthcare expenses. In a similar BLR survey conducted in early 2010, 41% of respondents reported spending up to $5,000 per employee on health care in 2009, with 47% reporting costs in the $5,000-10,000 range, and 12% reporting costs of per employee of over $10,000 per year.

Eighty-four percent of responding companies reported taking at least one action to reduce healthcare costs in the prior year, and two-thirds plan further cost control in the coming year. The most popular cost control steps include raising employees’ portion of healthcare premiums, raising employees’ copayments and deductibles, offering health savings accounts (HSAs) and/or health reimbursement accounts (HRAs), and implementing wellness programs.

The survey, conducted by BLR in May, 2011, received 338 responses, of which 76% originated from companies with fewer than 500 employees.

For detailed survey results, see the 2011 Cost of Benefits Provided Survey Results.

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