Source: National Business Group on Health
Marcotte said that the cost can vary depending on where the treatment is administered (i.e., a hospital or doctor's office or even in the home). The survey shows that 44 percent of companies plan to combat pharma costs in part by better managing where patients receive those high-price medicines.
Employers also increasingly have been offer high-deductible plans as a way to control costs. The study shows that by next year, 90 percent of large companies will offer this option.
Under these plans — sometimes called consumer-driven health plans in industry lingo — employees can put away tax-deductible savings in a health savings account, or HSA. For 2017, contribution limits are $3,400 for individual coverage and $6,750 for family plans. An extra $1,000 is allowed for people age 55 or older.
HSA balances can carry over from year to year, and withdrawals are tax-free as long as they go toward qualified medical expenses.
The survey also says that without such various cost-cutting measures being implemented by employers, overall costs would increase by 6.6 percent next year instead of the anticipated 5 percent.