"Overall premium increases have come down from the prior year," Tokar said. "We're looking at about 7.4 percent for Colorado employers. The problem is that's still above where inflation is and what Colorado employers are considering giving for merit increases."
Tokar says he's also seeing a shift from fully-insured plans to self-funded plans, and the increasing use of high-deductible health plans.
He also says a surprising discovery he made when looking over this year's study is that there's a large amount of employers that are considering absorbing the increasing costs of insurance premiums instead of passing them along to their employees. That's something he believes may be a sign of a rebounding market.
Tokar says employers can manage their costs by considering options like narrower networks, self funding and engaging employees in managing their own health risks.
Look for the full report at www.Lockton.com.
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