U.S. Employer Benchmarks and Trends

Source: Truven Health Analytics, July 2012
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From the summary:
With key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) now in effect for more than a year, we’ve assembled a compendium of data tracking the impacts of reform and other industry trends on employer healthcare costs.

The report, U.S. Employer Benchmarks and Trends, found that medical and pharmacy costs for employees and their dependents increased at a rate of 4.6 percent from 2010 to 2011 — the smallest increase in the last 5 years.
The relatively modest cost increase reflects the impact of PPACA and Mental Health Parity regulations effective in 2011, including:
• Extension of Dependent Coverage: The extension of dependent coverage through age 26 for unmarried children accounted for 1.4 percent of the overall 4.6 percent increase in employer healthcare costs.
• Preventive Services Coverage: The PPACA requirement to cover more preventive services has resulted in a 3.8 percent increase in physician’s office visits for preventive care.
• Mental Health Parity Regulations: Roughly 0.4 percent of the 4.6 percent healthcare cost increase was driven by an increase of 13.7 percent in Mental Health and Substance Abuse services.

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