Don't HR Alone #50 - Hospital Medical Costs Rise, New Alternative ACA Plan, New Prevailing Wage

Hospitals exploring stricter rules around health benefits as key elements of health strategies — SURVEY RESULTS

A growing number of hospitals are enforcing stricter rules around their health benefits as they cope with increasing health care costs and an evolving health care landscape, according to a new survey by Cammack Health, a business of Aon. The annual Benefits Survey of more than 196 hospitals across 86 participating health systems in the Eastern region of the U.S., found that the average annual health care expense per employee was $15,541, compared to $11,102 in 2010.

As costs continue to increase, so are hospitals’ appetites for requiring more from their employees in managing their own health care and plan choices:

  • 45 percent of hospitals surveyed either levy a surcharge or do not cover spouses who have access to coverage by their own employer.

  • More than three-quarters of plans (79 percent) maintain a higher cost sharing requirement for using urgent care facilities. While still priced to steer employees away from the emergency room, these copays are beginning to outpace primary care copays to help influence choice for place of service to encourage physician/member relationships.

  • 40 percent maintain separate cost sharing for specialty drug tiers, and 12 percent set coinsurance for non-formulary medications at 100 percent of the discounted price.