A new Wells Fargo Benefits Marketplace Survey shows rising health care costs and a recession are driving more employers to implement cost shifting.
"The survey results validated our suspicions," said Dan Gowen, senior vice president, for Wells Fargo Insurance Services, in a statement. "As inflationary adjustments from insurance companies remain in the 10-11 percent range and companies continue to struggle in today's economy, many employees are being asked to share a greater percentage of overall health care costs."
The survey found that the majority of employers made few changes to the basic components of their plan designs, with 84 percent remaining with their current medical carrier.
Seventy-one percent made no revisions to their prescription plan and 97 percent made no reductions to their dental plan.
The most common strategy used was to ask employees to pay more via the medical plan design (46 percent) or to absorb a greater percentage of the costs, through payroll deductions (41 percent).
The survey found 26 percent made no changes to their plan design, funding, insurance carrier, plan offerings or contribution percentage.
The survey -- published by Wells Fargo Insurance Services -- collected information on more than 320 employers of different sizes and from different industries nationwide. Surveys were conducted during five-weeks in December 2009 and January 2010 and gathered information on decisions employers made about benefit programs for 2010.
Get more: Research and compare. View last year's Wells Fargo Benefits Marketplace Survey.