Businesses in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan area are offering their workers new benefits in an attempt to cut their health care costs.

According to a new survey of 160 businesses in the area, conducted by the National Capital Area branch of the Society for Human Resource Management, companies are poised to spend only 26.3 percent of their compensation budgets on worker benefits this year, reports the Washington Post. The percentage of payroll devoted to benefits has been on a steady decline since SHRM began doing the poll in 2006, when companies reported spending 32.2 percent on benefits.

Employers are of course cutting benefit costs in all of the traditional ways –– by raising health plan deductibles and reducing their contributions to retirement plans. But employers are also introducing less-costly benefits that they believe will reduce health care costs in the long-term and keep workers happy.

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