Large employers expect health care costs to increase by about 7% next year, according to a survey by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH). The expected increase for 2013 is about the same as what employers projected in 2012.
NBGH did not attribute the increase to the Affordable Care Act, though it noted that many employers are changing their health plans to comply with the law.
In response to the expected increase, about 60% of large employers surveyed said they will increase premiums next year. Meanwhile, 40% of respondents said they plan to increase in-network deductibles, while 32% said they expect to increase out-of-pocket maximums.
About 16% of employers said they might push full-time employees to obtain coverage through the state-based health insurance exchanges created by the Act. More respondents said they expect other populations to shift into exchanges, rather than through the benefit packages they offer. For example, more than half of respondents said retirees could find coverage in the health insurance exchanges, while 40% said former workers enrolled in COBRA could enroll through exchanges, and 35% said part-time workers might obtain coverage through the exchanges.