Health Care Costs Are Expected to Jump 5% in 2020

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Health care costs are an ever-escalating expense, but the jump in 2020 is expected to be even bigger than the one people faced this year.

The National Business Group on Health‘s just-released 2020 survey of Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Designs, predicts the average cost per employee will increase 5%—from $14,642 to $15,375—in 2020. Compare that to a 3.6% increase this year.

The figure combines workers’ and employers’ spending on insurance. Most of those costs, of course, are picked up by employers, but employees pay about 30% of the expenses out of pocket, the group said. That works out to about $4,500.

“One of the challenges employers face in managing their health care costs is that health care is delivered locally and change is not scalable. It’s a market-by-market effort,” said Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health in a statement. “Employers are turning to market-specific solutions to drive meaningful changes in the health care delivery system.”

One of those is virtual care. The number of employers who believe that practice will play a large role in healthcare in the future jumped from 52% to 64% in this year’s survey. And over half of the 147 companies surveyed say they will offer more virtual care programs next year.

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