Study: Health care costs on the rise for retail employees

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Study: Health care costs on the rise for retail employees

By Marianne Wilson - 05/07/2018
Health care is getting more expensive for employees in the retail industry as their employers look to keep benefit costs under control.

Retail employees are taking on more health plan costs, according to a study by Benefitfocus, a cloud-based benefits management platform. The report revealed that high-deductible health plans are becoming more prevalent — and more expensive. Employers offering at least one high-deductible plan increased from 55% in 2016 to 76% in 2017. The study also noted that more employers are offering voluntary benefits to supplement coverage.

The “State of Employee Benefits — Industry Edition” research report found that despite the prevalence of high deductible plans, retail employers contributed 40% less to health spending accounts (HSAs) than the average for all employers, and employees contributed 20% less than peers in other industries.

In other retail findings:

  • Forty-percent of employees elected the high deductible plans.

  • Premiums for high-deductible plans are rising, with the average annual employee contribution for a single-coverage plan rising to $1,147 from $980 since 2016.

  • Fifty-six percent of employers offered at least one voluntary benefit to supplement coverage, up from 43% in 2016


“What employers in every industry have in common is the struggle to economically provide the best plans and care for their employees,” said Ray August, president and CEO, Benefitfocus. “The report data shows how benefits have grown horizontally, expanding to more voluntary products far beyond traditional medical insurance.”

For more findings, download the full Benefitfocus State of Employee Benefits 2018 – Industry Edition here.