Benefits, Compensation and Human Resources Consulting

2017 State Employee Health Benefits Study Finds States Offer Coverage Choices, but Employees Share More of the Cost

How Does Your Jurisdiction Compare?

Segal’s 2017 State Employee Health Benefits Study presents an overview of plan designs and cost-sharing arrangements offered to full-time employees by every state as well as the District of Columbia.

The key findings are:

  • Most states provide their employees with a range of choices in medical plan types as well as multiple premium tiers.
  • Average total premiums for employee-only and family coverage in preferred provider organizations (PPOs)/point-of-service (POS) plans and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs)/consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) have risen by double digits between 2016 and 2017. Increases for health maintenance organizations (HMOs)/exclusive provider organizations (EPOs) were more modest.

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  • State employees’ premium contributions remain fairly consistent as a percentage of total costs, yet on a dollar basis those contributions are increasing as the cost of coverage rises.
  • State employees’ out-of-pocket costs are also increasing as states increase deductibles, copayments and out-of-pocket limits. The annual out-of-pocket maximum for non-grandfathered plans under the Affordable Care Act has provided a new standard of comparison for many employers, including states.
  • States continue to use plan design to manage prescription drug costs by influencing utilization towards more efficient delivery channels and more cost-effective medications.