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Employers expect health reform to increase health insurance costs
By Insure.com staff

Two-thirds of employers plan no immediate change to employee benefits plans, but many have or will consider asking employees to pay a greater share of costs, according to a new study by Deloitte Consulting LLP and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists.

The study, "Top Five Total Rewards Priorities," surveyed 242 employers about the challenges their organizations face in providing their employees with benefits. The cost of providing health insurance to employees was ranked the No. 1 priority. Other top concerns focused on:

• The willingness of employees to pay an increasing portion of benefits costs and to manage their own rewards budget

• The ability of benefits to attract, motivate and retain talent

• The ability to adjust to and comply with current and future health care reform provisions

• The alignment of an employee rewards strategy with business strategy and brand

Most, 85 percent, of survey respondents expect health care reform to increase the benefits cost per employee, and 63 percent say controlling total health care costs will be a primary focus. Almost three-quarters, 73 percent, indicated health care reform will drive them to re-evaluate benefits in the next year.

In terms of sharing health insurance benefit costs with employees, 62 percent of organizations considered increasing cost-sharing in the past year, and another 30 percent will consider doing so in the next year.

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