United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Benchmarking Your Cost-Shifting Strategy

By RJ Nelson, Data Analyst at United Benefit Advisors
  Feb 9, 2017 4:04:45 PM

UBA Health Plan Survey BenchmarkingWe recently shared healthcare cost benchmarking best practices and reported on the best and worst industries/states for group healthcare. But how much are you contributing toward healthcare costs vs. your employees? That’s a key benchmark, especially when “cost-shifting” is the main strategy for mitigating risk for employers. You may have the most affordable plan, but if you are passing most of that cost on to your employees, you may not be a competitive employer.

According to the latest UBA Health Plan Survey, total costs per employee for the retail, construction, and hospitality sectors are 4.3 percent to 11.3 percent lower than average, making employees in these industries among the least expensive to cover. But employees in the retail and construction sectors pay 6.3 percent and 6.8 percent above the average employee contribution, respectively (hospitality employees pay slightly below the average employee contribution).

On the other end of the cost spectrum, the government sector has the priciest plans ($11,443 per employee) and passes on the least cost to employees, whose average contributions are more than 23 percent less than average. (Surprisingly, these employees are experiencing sticker shock this year since they’ve seen a 26.6 percent increase in their contributions, which were 45.2 percent below average last year.)

When employees’ out of pocket costs are rising, carefully considering and benchmarking their contributions toward the total cost is important—and not nationally, but compared to your peers. Here’s a look at all the average employer/employee contributions by industry:

Employer/Employee Contribution by Industry in 2016

To benchmark your health plan to your geographic, industry or sized-based peers, view our Quick Check Benchmarking Tool or request a custom benchmarking report from a local UBA Partner.

For a ranking of all states by average monthly premium, download our free state-by-state chart.

Download our Executive Summary with a comprehensive review of all the findings in the latest UBA Health Plan Survey or get quick survey highlights.

Topics: health plan benchmarking, UBA Health Plan Survey, health care cost containment, health care benchmarking, out-of-pocket costs, RJ Nelson