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Four of 10 Companies Expect Healthcare Costs to Increase Under Obama


Companies See Reduced Healthcare Enrollment as Cost Crisis Continues.

Seattle, WA, January 12, 2009 --(PR.com)-- Costs have been shifted and cutbacks have come, but the health-care expense crisis continues for employers – and a new administration in the White House isn’t expected to provide companies with much help, according to a recent Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) study.

The study found that 65% of polled companies have shifted a portion of the cost of health benefits to employees during the past 5 years. 41% of those who have transferred costs to workers have increased the amount the employee pays by up to 10%, while 33% have upped their workers’ portion of payment by 11-20%.

More alarmingly, in the face of increased costs 14% of companies overall (21% in companies with more than 10,000 workers) report a reduction in health-care plan enrollment.

And the prospect of a new President isn’t projected to be of much assistance. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they believe the new democratic administration will lead to increased company health-care costs, and 15% think health-care expenses will rise for consumers and employees. Fewer than 2% think costs will decrease under Barack Obama.

"While the reasons for a shift in costs are certainly understandable, companies should be concerned about any drop in employee enrollment in health-care plans,” said i4cp Research Analyst Anne Lindberg. “Very literally, it could have a detrimental effect on the company’s health if their workers forego checkups or medical procedures because of the extra cost.”

Cost issues aside, most employers offer a variety of health-care options, and many are taking a proactive approach in their health-care offerings by stepping up wellness and assessment initiatives.

Among health benefits offered by organizations, PPO plans are far and away the favored option, with 68% of all companies ranking it first. Both FSA and HMO health-care programs are offered by 41% of polled companies. More than half (52%) of organizations offer an eye care option, and 68% provide dental coverage.

Almost two-thirds of all respondents offer wellness programs in their organizations, a number that jumps to 96% in large companies. Among wellness perks, 73% provide flu shot options, 65% provide handouts regarding wellness issues and 58% post health-care information in common areas at their companies. In addition, 43% of companies have on-site gyms for use by employees, and 40% provide health-related classes on-site (Yoga, exercise, nutrition, etc.).

In addition, half of all polled companies and 67% of large firms are planning to add wellness initiatives within the next two years. Health risk assessments are offered by 44% of responding companies, and that option is made available by 83% of large companies.

The Healthcare Pulse survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with HR.com, in December 2008. There were a total of 212 respondents. The full results of the survey are available exclusively for all i4cp corporate members.

About i4cp, inc.

i4cp is the world’s largest vendor-free network of corporations focused on improving workforce productivity. Our vendor-free community facilitates innovation by giving our members – among the largest and most respected organizations in the world – access to:

1. Peers to spark new ideas and prevent “reinventing the wheel,”
2. Research to enable members to understand current practices and next practices,
3. Tools to put ideas and research into action,
4. Technology to enable members to easily access tailored information and execute workforce strategies.

With more than 40 years of experience and the industry’s largest team of human capital analysts, i4cp is the definitive destination for organizations seeking innovative ways to improve workforce productivity. For more information, visit http://www.i4cp.com/

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Contact Information
Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp)
Erik Samdahl
206-357-7662
Contact
http://www.i4cp.com

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