CAI Survey Reports No Increase in Healthcare Deductibles for Small NC Companies in 2006

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2006/2007 NC Healthcare Benefits Cost Survey indicates although healthcare costs continue to rise, small employers chose not to increase healthcare deductibles.

Employers who are most effective in controlling their healthcare costs take a multi-dimensional approach to fighting their margins. This includes plan design adjustments, financing arrangements, and aggressive wellness initiatives

CAI has released results of the 2006/2007 NC Healthcare Benefits and Cost Survey indicating that on average, small employers with 50-199 employees saw a greater rise in healthcare costs than other employer segments. Single coverage premium costs rose over last year as follows:

  • Micro employers (under 49), up by 5.2%
  • Small employers (50 - 199), up by 7.6%
  • Medium employers (200 - 999), up by 5.5%

Small Employers Hold the Line on Deductibles

Although all employers within the small to medium sized range saw a greater increase in costs, small employers with 50-199 employees saw a larger rise in healthcare costs than other segments. The larger rise in costs can be attributed to small employers holding the line on deductibles.

Small employers did not report any measurable increase in deductibles, with the average and median deductible virtually unchanged from last year. By comparison, smaller-sized micro employers raised deductibles an average of 25 percent, with the median doubling from $500 to $1000. Medium-sized companies also raised deductibles, reporting an average increase of 11 percent.

"Companies have become more open to considering benefit design changes in the face of rising health insurance premiums. Developing a competitive total compensation package while controlling healthcare costs is going to be a challenge for many employers. Employers with well-designed benefits strategies will certainly have the edge on attracting and retaining talent," says Molly Hegeman, Manager of Consulting Services, CAI.

"Employers who are most effective in controlling their healthcare costs take a multi-dimensional approach to fighting their margins. This includes plan design adjustments, financing arrangements, and aggressive wellness initiatives," says Todd Yates, Consultant with Hill, Chesson & Woody.

About the 2006/2007 NC Healthcare Benefits & Cost Survey

The NC Healthcare Benefits & Cost Survey is a valuable resource for developing an effective benefits strategy, providing employers with the information most critical to managing benefits plans. Conducted between December 2006 and January 2007 with 484 local organizations participating, this survey is the only North Carolina based survey focused on plan design and costs. The survey was co-developed by CAI, Inc., a non-profit employer's association and Hill, Chesson & Woody, an employee benefits consulting firm. Seminars to review results will be held in April. For more detailed information, please visit NC Healthcare Benefits & Cost Survey.

About CAI

CAI is a non-profit employers' association serving the greater Research Triangle, Piedmont Triad, and 65 eastern counties of North Carolina. With offices in Raleigh and Greensboro, CAI provides over 1,200 member companies with executive, management and human resources information and services, including day-to-day telephone guidance, advice and training. More information is available at CAI.

About Hill, Chesson, & Woody

Hill, Chesson & Woody is a solutions-driven employee benefits consulting firm that helps employers to develop, implement and manage a custom benefits strategy that best meets their organizational objectives for recruiting, rewarding and retaining employees. More information is available at Hill, Chesson, & Woody.

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Laura Cunningham
CAI
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