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Trends in Healthcare Coverage

The university, like most other employers, spends a large sum - $113 million- providing health care coverage for its faculty and staff. And healthcare coverage has changed significantly over the past decade in response to soaring healthcare costs and increased healthcare usage. What follows is trend information obtained from Mercer's* 2011 Health Care Survey.

Across the country, employers are moving away from providing employees with health plans that cover services at 100 percent, HMO plans, and copay models, and starting to provide plans with coinsurance models and high-deductibles. Today, most employers (91%) require an employee to pay something towards their individual-coverage in a PPO plan; nearly all employers (98%) require employees to contribute towards family coverage. Furthermore, more and more employers are requiring employees to pay a deductible before the plan begins to pay a benefit.

Most employers no longer offer an HMO plan to employees. The percentage of large employers** offering an HMO plan has decreased from 52% in 2001 to 35% in 2010. Instead, many employers are replacing HMO plans with high-deductible health plans. Since the introduction of these types of plans in 2003, 23% of large employers offered a high-deductible health plan for 2010.

These trends signal a shift in cost-sharing to the employee. The driving force behind the trends is the increased cost of providing medical coverage for employees. In 2001, the average cost of medical coverage for an active employee was $5,162. By 2010, that number nearly doubled to reach $10,073.

While the university hasn’t made the dramatic changes to our health plans that some employers have made, we have not escaped the burden of rising healthcare costs. That’s why it is important that we all take a more active role in improving our health and making wise healthcare decisions. To learn more about the resources Johns Hopkins University provides to help you get healthier, go to http://benefits.jhu.edu/wellness/.

* Mercer is a global human resources consulting firm.
** 500 or more employees

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