Health plan costs expected to rise 8 percent

A new survey says Colorado employers and their workers will pay an average of 8 percent more next year for their health insurance plans.

That’s not great news but at least we’re not looking at the prospect of double-digit increases, which, of course, were the norm for years.

Employers said that higher drug and hospital costs were the leading contributors to higher medical plan expenses. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was the third factor.

The survey by the Lockton Mountain West Benefit Group in Denver found that a lot of employers expect to share the higher costs with their staffs.

Higher deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance are all part of the picture.

After making those changes, employers’ average health insurance cost increase for 2015 was 5.3 percent, according to the Lockton survey.

“Health costs in Colorado tend to increase faster than the national average. We don’t know why. We’re supposed to have one of the healthiest populations in the country and a lower median age. We need to get at what’s driving costs here,” Lockton’s Bill Lindsay told the Denver Post.

The survey also found more than 92 percent of employers plan to continue their employer-based coverage next year.

More than 600 Colorado employers were surveyed, most of them in Denver

About the Author

Lon Matejczyk

Lon is the former publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal and Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.He has served in leadership roles at various newspapers in Iowa, Florida and Wisconsin. Lon received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and attended the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Earlier in his career, Lon spent several years as a sea captain and held a 100-ton Coast Guard license. Lon is a former rugby player, referee and administrator and now coaches under 13 year old kids. Lon has served on the boards of numerous community and business organizations including Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, Peak Venture Group, CS Quality of Life Indicators Business Index Committee, Junior Achievement and is a member of The Colorado Thirty Group.  Lon was given the “Making the Pikes Peak region a better place to live work and play” award by the CS Chamber of Commerce, was the VFW Post 1’s business citizen of the year.

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