For the last quarter century, the member companies of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) have told us the cost of employee health benefits is their No. 1 problem. The results of the 2016 Health Benefits Survey tell us this is still the case. Our members say they have made significant changes to the types of health benefits coverage they offer in order to bring their costs down. This includes offering their employees healthcare coverage with higher cost sharing – higher contributions toward premiums and increases in deductibles, copays and coinsurance – in an effort to lower the employer’s overall costs. Despite these actions, our members are still facing double-digit rate increases on average.
Even with these consistent increases, our members are overwhelmingly offering coverage to attract and retain their employees. The survey confirms business owners are taking less profits in order to continue offering coverage.
Members are offering voluntary benefits such as dental and vision coverage in greater numbers and they are offering workplace wellness programs.
Will the persistent trend of increased health benefit costs ever subside? While impossible to predict, if the latest survey results are any indication, it could be a long time – if ever – before costs for health benefits are substantially stabilized or reduced.
Click here to view the survey results.