A new pulse survey from Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), reveals that a significant number of U.S. employers are taking immediate steps to avoid triggering the excise tax on high cost health plans when it goes into effect in 2018.
Aon Hewitt’s soon-to-be-released survey of 317 U.S. employers found that 40 percent expect the excise tax to affect at least one of their current health plans in 2018 and 14 percent expect it to immediately impact the majority of their current health benefit plans.
Of those employers that have determined the impact, 62 percent say they are making significant changes to their health plans for 2015:
- One-third (33 percent) are reducing the richness of their plan designs through higher out-of-pocket costs, including 10 percent that say they will eliminate high-cost, rich design options
- 31 percent are increasing the use of wellness incentives in their plans
- 14 percent are evaluating private exchange options for pre- and post-65 retirees, while 7 percent are considering private exchanges for active employees
- 14 percent are significantly reducing spousal eligibility or subsidies through mandates or surcharges
- 5 percent are implementing narrow/high performance provider networks