Teaching Profession Opinion

Changing Healthcare Costs Will Be Major HR Issue in 2014

By Emily Douglas-McNab — January 10, 2014 1 min read
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Health insurance will be one of the most talked about HR issues in 2014, as organizations--from business to non-profit to education--work to navigate new federal and state laws and the ever-changing costs of insuring their workforce.

In a post last summer, I explored two important health insurance questions:

1. Do you know how much your health insurance costs a year?

2. Do you know what percentage of your health insurance you pay compared to your employer?

According to the Milliman Medical Index--one of the world’s largest independent actuarial and consulting organizations--medical costs for the typical American family of four exceeded $22,000 in 2013 compared to $16,771 in 2009. In addition, the firm found that the cost of an employer-sponsored preferred provider plan (commonly known as a PPO) for a family of four increased 6.3 percent from 2012.

This chart is a recreation of “Figure 1: Milliman Medical Index” chart found on page 1 of their 2013 report released in May 2013. That report can be accessed here.

Milliman’s 2013 Research Report notes that on average, 41 percent of healthcare costs nationally are the responsibility of the individual, while 59 percent of costs are being covered by an employer. Of the 41 percent being paid by the individual, 25 percent of that cost (or about $5,544) comes from the employee contribution typically taken out through payroll deductions. The remaining 16 percent, or $3,600, is paid by the employee out-of-pocket. MIlliman discovered that American families are well aware of healthcare cost increases, “even if it is only responsible for paying 41 cents of every healthcare dollar.”

As an employee: Do you know what portion of your healthcare costs are your responsibility and what portion your employer “picks up?” Do you keep track of your annual out-of-pocket healthcare expenses? How do they compare to the average of $3,600 noted in Milliman’s report?

As a K-12 Talent Manager: Do you communicate openly with your staff about the percentage and value of healthcare costs that the organization covers? How?

Have a question, or know of a school or district pursuing an innovative human capital project? Share your comments below or tweet me @EmilyDouglasHC! I am always looking to make information in this blog relevant as well as feature talent managers doing great things!

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