New Health Costs Numbers: Good News, Sort Of

Not all the health care cost news is bad these days. Compdata Surveys offers the following report, based on its annual survey and publication. The Chamber has partnered with Compdata for more than 20 years.

Although most Indiana organizations saw an increase in their health insurance premiums, the average premium increase is decreasing, according to the Compensation Data 2008 — Indiana annual survey of 404 employers. The most recent drop from 2007 to 2008 is the largest decrease found in recent years. The results reported the average premium increase was 7% for all plan types in 2008.

While health insurance premiums are rising, they have been increasing at a lower rate for six years.

Indiana Premiums
Average premium increase
Increased employee portion of health insurance premium

"Although the average premium increase is the lowest it has been in seven years, the percentage of companies with an increase in the employee portion of the premium has stayed around 40% for the last four years," says Amy Kaminski, manager of marketing programs for Compdata Surveys.

To contain rising costs, Indiana organizations utilized a variety of methods. The most highly employed was the use of a network of health care professionals at 76% in 2008, while coordination of benefits was used by 75.8%. Wellness programs were prevalent, as three-quarters of the organizations surveyed used them to contain costs.

The results showed 42% of Indiana companies increased the employee portion of the premium in their efforts to reduce costs. Currently, 31.3% and 18.3% of organizations increased deductible levels and employee co-insurance levels, respectively. On average, employers contribute 10.5% of payroll toward the cost of health benefits, which is nearly the same cost to provide all of the following other benefits: dental, pension, life, disability and other non-mandated benefits.

Compensation Data 2008 — Indiana contains data on 617 job titles ranging from entry-level to top executives. Information was collected on more than 243,000 employees across the state. The results provide a comprehensive summary of pay data, benefits information and pay practices with an effective date of March 1, 2008. Contact Compdata Surveys at (800) 300-9570.