The survey found that:
- 57% of employers are considering increasing employee contributions to health plans.
- Half of employers are considering increasing cost-sharing through plan design, such as higher deductibles. The average emergency room co-pay is now $125 or more.
- More than half of employers are considering raising employee prescription drug plan costs.
- Average enrollment in high deductible plans coupled with a Health Reimbursement Account has increased to 43.2% in 2012 from 34.2% in 2010.
- 72% of employers offer wellness programs, and half say they are considering expanding those programs next year.
Such tactics have allowed PwC to project that employers could see healthcare cost growth as low as 5.5%.
"If the plan designs are done appropriately preventative care and wellness-type procedures are going to be the ones that are aligned with the lower costs to encourage patients to seek out those services," Judy says.
"The more elective procedures are the ones that will have higher costs associated with them so patients need to shop around quality and cost and value for those services rather than just consuming healthcare without understanding what those costs are."
John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.