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ASE Releases 2021 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey Findings

Troy, MI – August 4, 2021 — ASE, one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, has released its 2021 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 strategies.

Highlights of the ASE 2021 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey include:

Median premium increases (after plan changes) remained flat compared to data reported in last year’s study. According to this year’s sample, median premium increases were just 3% for 2020 and 2021 plan years. Median increases for 2022 are projected to be 5%.

A majority of the participants (66%) reported offering two to three types of health plans. The most utilized plan type continues to be Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPO) with 87% of companies offering this option.

Just 41% of the sample of participants report self-funding their health plan, relatively unchanged from a year ago.

The three-tiered price structure (generic, preferred brand, non-preferred brand) for prescription drug plans were the most popular among traditional PPOs with 54% of non-unionized organizations reporting this structure. This is up three points from a year ago. Five-tiered structures followed as the second most prevalent option at 22%. This was an increase of five percentage points from a year ago.

This year’s data suggest that few organizations are offering wellness benefits. For example, just 37% percent of non-union organizations provided some form of a preventative intervention-type wellness program. This is down from 46% a year ago. These programs are defined as smoking cessation, stress management, and/or weight loss programs.

Median annual employer contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSA) remained unchanged from the last four years with an employee only contribution totaling $500 and an employee + family contribution totaling $1,000 in non-unionized organizations.

The number-one strategy that employers planned to implement in 2021 was increasing employee education regarding health plan features and costs (12%).
Implementing or expanding wellness programs (26%), changing providers (22%), and increasing the employees cost share (21%) top the list of strategies that companies are considering but have yet to set a timeline for.

The ASE 2021 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey findings were announced by ASE President and CEO, Mary E. Corrado. “The results from this year’s survey show that employers did not make dramatic changes to their health plans or health premium contributions during the pandemic. However, survey respondents shared that cost-control efforts are still a priority and being addressed by educating employees on their health care plan features,” stated Mary E. Corrado, ASE President & CEO.

Background information on the ASE 2021 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey:

193 organizations from across Michigan participated. Organizations with 50 to 499 employees nationally made up more than 51% of the survey sample, while organizations with more than 500 employees nationally represented nearly 31% of the sample. The remaining 18% of the sample came from organizations with fewer than 50 employees nationally. A variety of industries have been represented in the survey, with durable goods, manufacturing (35%) leading the pack. Trades and services (29%) were the second-largest industry representation.

To obtain a copy of ASE’s 2021 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey, contact ASE’s Survey Team at surveys@aseonline.org or 248.223.8025. This survey is available at no cost to ASE-member survey participants and is available for $1,450 for non-members.

About ASE

ASE is Michigan’s trusted HR partner. ASE is a non-profit, membership organization – everything we do is based on the needs of members and to drive the success of their organizations. ASE strengthens organization’s HR departments by offering member benefits and discounted services that span the entire employee lifecycle including recruitment, development, and retention while minimizing compliance risk. We provide our members guidance through new legislation and workplace issues such as those currently occurring with the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about ASE at www.aseonline.org.