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March 31, 2011
Employer Contributions to Account-Based Health Plans Declined

Employer contributions to workers' account-based health plans dropped in 2010, according to a recent survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

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According to the 2010 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey, the percentage of workers who reported that their employer contributed $1,000 or more to their account-based health plan declined from 37 percent in 2008 to 28 percent in 2010.

"The recession had a profound effect on employers, and they are continuing to look for ways to cut health care costs while empowering their workers to make cost-conscious decisions about their health," said Paul Fronstin, director of EBRI's Health Research and Education Program and author of the report. "Individuals with employee-only coverage also responded to the need to take control of their health care cost by increasing their contributions in a poor economy."

Reducing Healthcare Costs
Reducing healthcare costs is a priority for many companies. According to a recent BLR survey, 72 percent of responding companies reported taking at least one action to reduce healthcare costs. Of those, over half reported raising employees’ portion of healthcare premiums.

Each of the following measures were undertaken by at least one in four of respondents who took action to reduce costs:

  • Offering health savings accounts (HSAs) and/or health reimbursement accounts (HRAs)
  • Raising employees’ copayments and deductibles
  • Implementing wellness programs



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