The cost of providing employee healthcare benefits at the largest U.S. employers is projected to increase by 7% next year.

That’s the third consecutive year employers have budgeted this amount, according to a survey by the National Business Group on Health.

Despite being able to keep cost increases stable for another year, employers continue to embrace changes designed to engage workers in health management and healthy lifestyles.

“Rising healthcare costs remain a serious concern for U.S. employers,” says Helen Daring, the organization’s president and CEO. “Employers spent considerable time and energy this year designing health plans that comply with the various provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would have become effective next year.”

While the decision to delay provisions related to the employer mandate has provided respite from some of the requirements, the pressure remains on employers to lower costs.

“Interestingly, many respondents indicated that a portion of their budgeted costs for 2014 was to implement changes mandated by the ACA,” Darling adds. “With the delay, it is unclear how employer costs will be affected.”

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Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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