Rochester area employers continue to explore ways to keep health insurance benefits affordable for them - and for their employees, according to the 2010 Health Benefits Survey, released by the Rochester Business Alliance.
An option drawing increased attention from employers this year: High-deductible health insurance plans, accompanied by a health savings account. Among the survey respondents, 30 percent said they offer one or more of such plans, up from only 15 percent in last year's survey.
"Employers tell us they are committed to offering health care benefits to their employees," said Sandy Parker, president and CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance. "But in order to afford this continually increasing expense, they have to be creative.
"In this economy, that's not easy to do. So while we applaud them for their efforts, we end up back to the same point we make every year: If our economy is to move ahead and grow, our community simply must find a way to lower health care costs. That's the focus of the RBA Health Care Initiative, and it will remain an important working goal for us until the issue is resolved."
Other cost-conscious highlights of the survey:
Employer premium contributions as a percentage of payroll were 10 percent, relatively unchanged from 10.1 percent last year. The average employer contributions by health insurance plan contract level were:
In comparing Rochester's health care costs with other communities, 13 percent said local costs are higher, compared with 18 percent last year; 40 percent said local costs were lower, down from 48 percent a year ago, while 48 percent said costs are about the same, up from 34 percent a year ago.
Some other findings: