Most public-sector employers want to cut employee benefit program costs, which could translate into higher health insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays for employees, according to a new survey by Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co. with members of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources.
Among public-sector human resources managers, 80 percent said their organizations were exploring ways to reduce employee benefits plan costs. More than half, 58 percent, said controlling costs is the benefit program's top priority.
Many public-sector employers plan to change their benefits programs in the next year. Sixty-four percent are considering increasing employees' health insurance premiums, and 52 percent are looking at implementing wellness programs to promote healthy behavior. About 45 percent are considering raising employees' health insurance deductibles or copays, and 27 percent are planning to redesign health plans to include higher deductibles.
"Budgets are tight and organizations are looking to save money," Pat McCullough, Colonial Life's assistant vice president, public sector practice leader, said in a press statement. "If they can't save through premiums or services, they'll have to reduce head count and nobody wants to do that."