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2019 healthcare insurance benefits survey results released

July 26, 2019

By Jason Rowe, courtesy SBAM Approved Partner ASE

How does your organization’s healthcare benefits compare to other Michigan employers? Find out with ASE’s recently released 2019 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey. The annual survey examines the premiums, deductibles, and co-pays of employer-sponsored health plans as well as wellness benefits and cost control strategies.

Cost containment strategies were top of mind for employers, the number one strategy that employers plan to implement in 2019 is increasing employee education regarding health plan features and costs (17%). This was followed closely by plans to implement/expand wellness programs, which top the list of strategies that companies are considering but have yet to set a timeline for.

Slightly more than a quarter of those surveyed reported considering future employee costs share arrangements where employees will be required to incur a greater portion of the healthcare expense.

Survey Highlights

  • Median premium increases (after plan changes) remained flat compared to data reported in last year’s study. According to this year’s sample, median premium increases were just 3% for the 2018 and 2019 plan years. Median increases for 2020 are projected to be 5%.

  • A majority of the participants (38%) reported offering two types of health plans. The most utilized plan type continues to be the Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPO) with 86% of companies offering this option. 39% of non-union firms offer an HMO compared to 35% a year ago. Much of that growth was among small employers (those with fewer than 50 employees).

  • The three-tiered price structure (generic, preferred brand, non-preferred brand) for prescription drug plans remains as the most popular among traditional PPOs with 53% of non-unionized organizations reporting this structure. At 22% four-tiered price structures followed as the second most prevalent among Michigan employers.

  • Median annual employer contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSA) remained unchanged from the last three years with an employee only contribution totaling $500 and an employee + family contribution totaling $1,000 in non-unionized organizations.

  • A total of 217 organizations from a variety of industries are represented in the survey, with durable goods, manufacturing (41%) leading the pack. Trades and services (33%) were the second-largest industry representation.

  • Organizations with total employment of 50 to 499 employees made up more than 52% of the survey sample, while organizations with more than 500 employees represented nearly 29% of the sample. The remaining 18% of the sample came from organizations with total employment fewer than 50 employees.

To obtain a copy of ASE’s 2019 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey, contact ASE’s Survey Team at or 248.223.8053. This survey is available at no cost to ASE-member survey participants and is available for $1,350 for non-members.

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