The side effects of the Affordable Care Act continue to surface in the labor market. In order to help manage rising health care costs and comply with new regulations, large employers across the nation are making adjustments to their benefit plans. The changes will undoubtedly place more responsibility on employees and make health savings accounts more attractive.
Workers should prepare themselves for a more active role in their health care coverage. Large employers expect health care benefit costs to rise by an average of 6.5 percent next year, according to a new survey from the National Business Group on Health. However, employers plan to keep increases to 5 percent by expanding cost-share provisions, implementing or focusing more on consumer-directed health plans, and broadening their use of wellness programs. The survey includes responses from 136 of the country’s largest corporations.
“Despite the many distractions that the Affordable Care Act has created, large employers haven’t lost sight of the fact that rising health care costs remain a significant issue that needs to be constantly addressed,” explains Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. “Our survey shows that many employers are, in fact, taking necessary steps to rein in costs. This includes partnering with workers to engage in health care decisions and educating them to be better health care consumers, as well as sharing more costs with workers and narrowing their benefit options.”
As employers and consumers seek affordable options, health savings accounts will receive more attention. Let’s take a look at three benefits offered by HSAs.