Last week, however, the Cary firm's 145 employees found out that their insurance rates weren't going up next year.
Calyx didn't ditch its insurer. Rather,
Still, a zero rate increase is not the norm. Many employees who are now opening benefit packages to review and renew their health care coverage options for next year are seeing rate increases. Several health benefits consultants who advise businesses in the state say they're expecting average premium increases of about 5 percent next year.
"If any employee goes out on the public exchange and looks at those rates, they should be very happy their employer offers them health benefits," said
Single-digit rate increases have held steady for
But while premium increases have stayed steady, other costs have gone up more. Employers are increasingly shifting costs to those who use medical care by offering "consumer-driven" plans with personal health spending accounts and high deductibles.
Deductibles have also gone up on traditional plans offered by
This year, the average monthly premium for an individual plan is
In addition, the number of employers offering financial incentives to employees who exercise regularly, don't smoke or meet other wellness goals increases each year. In the survey, which was taken last winter and issued in the spring, employers said they are considering the following cost-containment strategies for 2017: increasing the employee's portion of payroll deductions, adding wellness programs such as nutritional counseling and lifestyle management, and adding non-smoker incentives and smoker penalties.
"The thought process for an employer is, 'You're the one who's driving up our claims cost because you have
Since 2011, Calyx has been adding programs to keep down health insurance costs. Such cost controls are increasingly being offered through employer-sponsored health insurance in
As a result, Calyx's medical claims are down from previous years.
"This is definitely what we anticipated, and we're happy to see the efforts of the strategy we put into place pay off," said
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