No Relief In Sight for Rising Employer Health Insurance Costs

Having blogged on the repeal of the IRS 1099 reporting mandate, among other health-care reform reporting, I’ve become especially aware of the burden that health-care costs place on business owners of all sizes. 

So it was with interest, and some dread, that I perused the results from a recent trend survey that foretells the increased expense of claims in employer-sponsored health plans. 

Of course, installing security contractors are not immune to such price hikes. According to SSI‘s 2010 industry demographic census, 75 percent of installing systems businesses in North America provide some form of employee health insurance. 

Conducted by Wells Fargo Insurance Services, the recent nationwide survey of 60 insurance companies determined that while the rate is a tad lower than six months ago, overall claim cost will continue to escalate in the low double-digits. Hence, employer premiums are forecast to rise in parallel given that insurance companies anticipate costs based on claim trends. 

The survey was conducted between February and March with results reflecting claim activity over a six-month period. Projected increases in the national average cost of claims include: 

  • Health maintenance organizations (HMO) and point-of-sale plans (POS): 9.6 percent
  • Preferred provider organizations (PPO) and consumer driven health plans (CDHP): 10 percent
  • Exclusive provider organizations (EPO): 10.6 percent
  • Indemnity plans: 11.1 percent
  • Prescription plans: 8.7 percent 

The survey cites rising claim cost is influenced by increased use of health care services, aging U.S. population, improvements in medical technology and drug therapies, use of specialty drugs to treat complex diseases, changes in provider treatment patterns, and inflation. 

While not exactly a silver-lining to an otherwise bleak outlook, the survey did offer this consolation: When compared to the previous six months, results showed dental and vision benefit plans remain stable. 

Traditional health care plans aren’t the only game in town, as some of you are aware. For instance, the other day I came across an article on titled, “The Alternative to Buying Small Business Health Insurance,” which you can read here. This is a Q&A with a subject matter expert discussing “self-funded” health care. The gist of it is businesses pay employees’ health insurance claims rather than pay an insurance premium for services their employees might never use. It’s food for thought anyway. 

Maybe you are a business owner who has implemented a strategy in recent time to combat rising health-care costs. If so, I invite you to share insights with your installing security contractor brethren in the comments box below. 

Rodney Bosch Æ– Managing Editor

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About the Author


Although Bosch’s name is quite familiar to those in the security industry, his previous experience has been in daily newspaper journalism. Prior to joining SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION in 2006, he spent 15 years with the Los Angeles Times, where he performed a wide assortment of editorial responsibilities, including feature and metro department assignments as well as content producing for Bosch is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communication & Journalism. In 2007, he successfully completed the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association’s National Training School coursework to become a Certified Level I Alarm Technician.

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