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National Business Group: Health costs expected to rise 5.3% in 2021

National Business Group on Health survey of large employers finds companies expect 5.3% increase on average in their 2021 health insurance plan premiums and costs. Despite the pandemic severely reducing medical care, employers are being cautious in planning for much of that care to be made up in 2021. Average total cost is expected to be $15,500 per employee, including both premiums and out of pocket costs. Actual costs have typically come in 0.7 to 1.4 percentage points lower than predicted. However, in 2020, actual costs are projected to come in at least 4% under what was expected. Employees are estimated to have a cost burden close to $4,700 per employee in 2022. Employers are planning for more virtual care, telehealth and telemental health care. Many are also reducing out of pockte costs for mental health, as pandemic-related emotional needs have risen. Released by the National Business Group on Health, August 2020.

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