With 2012 nearing, the latest benefits landscape is on the horizon, and much of it focuses on costs.

As many employers are still looking for ways to tighten their budgets, the shift toward shared accountability is projected to continue, says Lenny Sanicola, senior benefits practice leader for WorldatWork, a nonprofit organization that specializes in global human resources issues. More employees are expected to partner with their respective employer to manage health care costs, meaning employees will continue to take on a larger share of those expenses than in the past. Thus, consumer-driven health plans are expected to be strong in 2012.

"Although employee selections of these options has been slow, I expect more and more employees to choose CDHP options due to generally lower premiums coupled with more education from organizations on how these plans work and can save individuals and families money," Sanicola says. "In addition, more employers are beginning to only offer CDHP options, totally replacing more traditional options, so eligible employees who want coverage must select such options."

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