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American Society of Employers (ASE) Releases 2017 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey Findings

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, has released its 2017 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey. The annual survey, covering Michigan employers, examines the premiums, deductibles, and co-pays of employer-sponsored health plans as well as wellness benefits and cost control measures.

Highlights of the ASE 2017 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey:
• Participants are reporting an average annual premium increase for the 2017 plan year of 5%. This adjustment represents the increase to premiums after plan design changes and is up slightly from 4.5% in 2016 and 4.25% in 2015. Projected increases for 2018 are anticipated to be flat at 5%.

• At 84%, the most widely used plan type among non-union organizations continue to be Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans, these plans offer employees greater provider options. Just 38% of surveyed non-union organizations offered a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan.

• The median employer premium percentage among non-union organizations for PPO plans for employee only and employee plus family coverage has remained constant at 80% for both Consumer Driven Health Plans and Traditional plans.

• In 2017, the median in-network PPO plan deductible (in high deductible plans) for employee-only coverage among non-union organizations was $1,775, down from $1,875 in 2016. Median deductibles for employee plus family coverage decreased to $3,300 from $3,750 in 2016. In-network deductibles among traditional PPO plans increased for employee only and employee plus family coverage. Increases for those plan types were $100 and $200 for employee-only and employee plus family coverage respectively.

• More significant increases to plan deductibles (among PPO plans) were seen in out-of-network coverage. Increases to those deductibles were as high as $1,500 year-over-year, suggesting employers are making greater efforts to encourage plan participants to stay in-network where costs can be better managed.

• Median annual contributions to Health Savings Accounts were flat. Median employer contributions in non-union organizations for employee only coverage was $500 in 2017 and 2016. Similarly, median annual contributions to employee plus family coverage was $1,000. Contributions at the 75th percentile of all firms were $700 and $1,300 respectively for employee only and employee plus family coverage.

Employers continue to take steps to control costs:
• Most significantly, 48% of organizations surveyed have either implemented or plan to implement telemedicine services in 2017.

• 46% have increased, or plan to increase, employee education around plan features and costs.

• Other notable cost containment strategies include implementing or expanding wellness programs (31%), implementing a Consumer Driven Health Plan (30%), and making generic prescriptions mandatory (28%).

The ASE 2017 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey findings were announced by ASE President and CEO, Mary E. Corrado.

“Plan design changes as a means to control costs continue to be the norm. However, we are seeing strong evidence that employers are looking more long-term and are working to change the behaviors of their employees through increased education, wellness initiatives, and by implementing and offering consumer driven health plans,” stated Corrado. “It’s also interesting to see how technology is playing a role in healthcare cost control with the rise of telemedicine.”

Background information on the ASE 2017 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey:
• 236 organizations from across Michigan participated.

• Organizations with 50 to 499 employees nationally made up more than 56% of the survey sample, while organizations with more than 500 employees nationally represented nearly 27% of the sample. The remaining 17% of the sample come from organizations with fewer than 50 employees nationally.

• A variety of industries are represented, with manufacturing or goods producing organizations representing 50% of the survey sample. The remaining 50% are represented by trades and services organizations.

To obtain a copy of ASE’s 2017 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey, contact ASE’s Compensation and Benefits Surveys department at or 248.353.4500. This survey is available free of charge to ASE-member survey participants, $225 to ASE member non-participants, and $1,350 for non-members.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at