As employees flip through their open enrollment packets, they may notice substantial changes to their medical plan for 2010, from increases in employee contributions to a new wellness program.
According to the 2009 Benefits & Talent Survey by Aon Consulting, 41 percent of employers are expecting to make more substantial changes to their 2010 medical program than they did this year.
Aon Consulting, which surveyed 1,313 employers nationwide, found that 70 percent are planning to increase employee contributions and 67 percent are expecting to raise deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance or out-of-pocket maximums.
In addition, more than half of employers are expecting to introduce or expand a wellness program next year, and 34 percent are planning to introduce or increase financial incentives for wellness programs in 2010.
“As in year’s past, many employers are expecting to shift additional health care costs to employees in 2010 to share the burden of double-digit rate increases,” said John Zern, U.S. Health & Benefits Practice Director with Aon Consulting. “However, it may be more dramatic next year, as many organizations try to avoid taking other drastic measures such as layoffs or salary freezes.”
Conversely, Zern said, the good news is that more than half of employers are planning to either introduce or expand wellness programs.