DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Rising catastrophic claims due to an aging workforce are expected to push U.S. employers’ average health-care cost per employee above the $10,000 mark next year, according to a report from insurance brokerage and consulting firm Aon Corp. (AON).
According to the firm’s analysis, the average total health care premium per employee for large companies is expected to rise to $10,475 next year, up from $9,792 this year. With the rising cost, Aon expects the percentage employees will be asked to contribute to rise to 22%, an increase from 21.3% seen this year.
The rising costs come despite easing rate increases for health-care premiums. According to Aon, the average health-care premium rate increase next year will be 7%, below the 7.5% seen this year.
“While health care reform continues to represent potential systemic change in a few years, employers will continue to shift cost to employees in order to keep company costs to a manageable level,” said John Zern, executive vice president and the Americas practice director for health & benefits with Aon Hewitt.
The report is derived from data for 371 large U.S. employers representing 13.1 million participants, 1,300 plans and $51.4 billion in 2011 health-care spending.
-By Mia Lamar, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3207; email@example.com (JNS)