According to NAW, the average increase is 19%. Only wholesaler-distributors with more than 500 employees deviate to any significant extent from the industry norm. The average increase for these large employers is 16%.
NAW also says that 95% of the companies participating in the study said that if the current trend continues, they plan to implement a combination of cost-cutting options including higher employee premium contributions, higher deductibles, and dropping coverages, that will, at a minimum, increase employees’ exposure to escalating medical costs.
“The cost of offering health insurance as an employee benefit is exerting ever-increasing pressure on the bottom lines of wholesaler-distributors,” said NAW president Dirk Van Dongen. “Employers in the industry are telling us with crystal clarity that a serious search is now underway for effective ways to alleviate that pressure.”
NAW is currently working to provide wholesaler-distributors with an affordable option for private health insurance, and recently unveiled a new association-sponsored program with Flexible Benefit Service Corporation (FBSC) as its partner.
According to George Valiga, vice president and general manager of the NAW Service Corporation (NAWSC), “FBSC provides wholesaler-distributors with a powerful new healthcare alternative to combat double-digit insurance premium increases that threaten to make current coverage unaffordable.”
For information on the program, visit http://naw.flexiblebenefit.com (website).
Publication date: 04/22/2002