PITTSBURGH, April 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cowden Associates, Inc., a leading independent compensation, health and benefits, and retirement consulting firm, announces key results of their 2010/2011 Tri-State Area Employee Benefits Survey.
For the past decade, Cowden Associates, Inc. has tracked employee benefit design and benefit costs for firms within Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Their Tri-State Area Employee Benefits Survey tracks all aspects of medical, prescription drug, dental and life and disability coverage, plus insurer, third-party administration, employee cost sharing, benefit plan design and more. Some of the key findings identified from this year's Survey are:
- Health care costs for Tri-State Area employers rose 7.4% in 2010/2011, averaging $5,460 for individual coverage and $15,084 for family coverage. This compares nationally to an average cost for individual coverage of $5,160 and an average family coverage cost of $13,764.
- While overall coverage costs are typically higher for Tri-State organizations, year-over-year increases trended lower and are also lower than the national average. 2010 showed a smaller regional increase in medical and prescription drug costs of 7.4%, 1.5% lower than last year's increase of 8.9%, and one-half a percentage point lower than the national average increase of 7.9%.
- Employees continue to cover more of their plan costs. The survey shows that PA/OH/WV employees pay on average 23.7% of the individual premium and 27.8% of the family premium. While the family contribution rate is similar to last year, the individual contribution rate increased 2.7% from last year's survey.
- A vast majority (78.4%) of employers believe that changes brought about from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) contributed to this year's increase and will continue to contribute to these rising costs through 2014 and beyond.
- Fully 38% of participants are unsure or unaware of how PPACA mandated State-based Exchanges may impact their organization's future plan design.
- West Virginia paid more in healthcare costs with an average monthly individual rate of $471 and $1,300 for family. Ohio's average monthly individual rate is $467 and family monthly rate is $1,161, while Pennsylvania's average monthly individual rate is $452 and family monthly rate is $1,270.
- Within the Tri-State Area, Governmental employees contributed an average of 10.0% for individual coverage and 12.7% for family coverage, while For-Profit employees contributed 25.8% for individual coverage and 29.4% for family coverage.
The results of this latest Tri-State Survey are based on data from comprehensive questionnaires completed by two hundred and two (202) regional firms during January/February 2011.
Vincent Wolf, Executive Vice President stated, "This year's survey also focuses on the anticipated impact of Health Care Reform and uncovers very interesting related data and trends unique to the Tri-State Area. For instance, 31.1% of the regional participants did not maintain the typically advantageous status of grandfathering their plans during their most recent renewal, versus 20.0% of organizations not grandfathering nationwide. Also, only 2.4% of the survey participants are currently planning to discontinue their plan after the new state-based Exchanges open in 2014."
Beyond key benefit plan costing data and trends, the Tri-State Area Employee Benefits Survey offers a wealth of data and insight on regional company benefit plan design -- from adding Wellness Programs and high-deductible plan options to long-term cost-containment strategies. Cowden Associates, Inc. welcomes the opportunity to detail their employee benefits survey data for any organization in the region.
See the attached Table of Contents for a complete listing of all benefits and benefit plan elements tracked and analyzed in the Cowden Associates, Inc. 2010/2011 Tri-State Area Employee Benefits Survey.
To request a personal review of the Survey results, contact Vincent Wolf at (412) 394-9360 or toll free at (888) 889-9432. The Tri-State Area Employee Benefits Survey report is made available to all 202 participants free of charge. Non-participants can acquire a copy of this 71-page report for $500. To order a copy of the report, please go to http://www.cowdenassociates.com/contact-us.html and fill out a request, or call Cowden Associates, Inc. at (412) 394-9363 or toll free at (888) 889-9432.
About Cowden Associates, Inc.
Cowden Associates, Inc. is a Pittsburgh-based consulting and actuarial firm with a dedicated and experienced team of professionals offering extensive experience in health and benefits, retirement plan design, compensation strategies, employee communications, benefits enrollment, actuarial, investment advisory and technology services. The firm is committed to providing the highest level of proactive service to its regional, national and international clients through client-focused advice to produce superior and measurable results.
The 2010/2011 Tri-State Area Employee Benefits Survey results are segmented based on the following categories:
- By State: Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia
- By Organization Entity: For Profit, Not-for-Profit, Governmental
- By Primary Plan Type: Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) (with and without savings account), Point-of-Service (POS), Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Traditional Program
SOURCE Cowden Associates, Inc.