Initial 2016 Health Plan Survey Results Are Out: PPO Deductibles Increase Fifty Percent, Employer Costs Remain Steady
By Bill Olson, Chief Marketing Officer for United Benefit Advisors
The 2016 UBA Health Plan Survey contains the validated responses of 19,557 health plans and 11,524 employers, who cumulatively employ over two and a half million employees and insure more than five million total lives. Of the preliminary findings, we see that employees continue to take on more cost for coverage. The median in-network deductible on an employer-sponsored PPO health plan (which nearly half of all employees enroll in) increased 50 percent, from $1,000 to $1,500 in 2016, yet employer costs remain steady.
The survey shows that average health plan costs for employers actually decreased slightly from $9,736 in 2015 to $9,727 in 2016 while the employees’ share increased as they continue to accept lower coverage levels. Of the $9,727, employees contributed an average of $3,378 and employers contributed on average $6,350, whereas in 2015, employers paid $6,403 of the $9,736 average overall cost, while employees paid $3,333.
Monthly Premiums and Copays
UBA finds that total monthly premiums, combined for all types of plans, remained flat at $509 for a single. However, employers shifted costs to employees in other ways, including median out-of-network deductibles, which jumped from $3,000 to $3,400 this year (a 13.3 percent increase) and median ER copays increased from $250 to $300 (20.0 percent).
The employees’ share of monthly premiums increased only slightly from $140 in 2015 to $144 (2.6 percent), and family portions went from $540 in 2015 to $552 in 2016 (2.2 percent).
UBA also finds that families are again bearing the brunt of the cost of health insurance. For an employee electing single coverage, the employer covers 71 percent of the monthly premium, and only 54 percent of a family premium.
For commentary from UBA Partners on these cost trends, read our breaking news release.
For comprehensive survey findings, pre-order UBA’s 2016 Health Plan Survey Executive Summary which will be available to the public in late September.