During the upcoming enrollment period, employers will still experience cost shifts to employees, consolidate plan choices, emphasize account-based plans and require more on employees if they are to receive incentives, according to a survey by Towers Watson.

“Unlike the last few years when many employees saw significant increases in copayments, deductibles and coinsurance, 2012 looks like a year when we will start to see costs go up primarily via increased premium contributions, with a higher proportion of the increase being borne by families,” says Randall Abbott, senior health care consultant at Towers Watson. “Employers are becoming increasingly focused on raising the cost for dependents to capture the added expense and to encourage working spouses to shift to their own employer’s plan. We also expect more use of spousal surcharges when they fail to do so.”

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