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Heath Risk Assessment Usage Growing

The annual Kaiser Family Foundation 2016 survey of business provided health insurance reports an increase of 3% for family coverage over last year and no increase for individual coverage. The cost of family coverage has increased by 20% since 2011 and 58% since 2006. The slowing of growth in premium cost continued from 2015, which saw a 4% increase in individual and family coverage. The increases in 2014 were 2 and 3% respectively.

The number of employees enrolled in high deductible health plans has continued a steady increase from 4% in 2006 to 29% today. These plans require the subscriber to share in the cost of healthcare and usually are paired with a Health Savings Account or Health Reimbursement Account in which subscribers can draw on tax advantaged money.

Interestingly, fully 61% of covered employees are in a full or partially self funded program. Only 2% of firms over 50 are in private exchanges, which offer employees a choice of benefit options for a fixed cost, and 4% of small businesses use a PEO, or Professional Employer Organization, in which an outside firm handles benefits for employees.

Wellness continues to be a concern to plan sponsors. 32% of small firms and 59% of large firms offer employees health risk assessments. 54% of the large firms offered an incentive, such as lower premiums or cash prizes. 20% of small firms, 53% of large, offered biometric screening and 59% offered incentives. 46% of small firms and 83% of large offer programs such as smoking cessation, weight management, lifestyle coaching.