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By tackling costs themselves rather than passing them along to workers, employers are changing the way they approach the problem of higher prices for employees. (Image: Shutterstock)

A glimmer of light in the overall dark price picture over health care costs: employers are shifting increases away from employees instead of offloading them onto workers.

Employees may not be spending quite so much on health care expenses in 2019 as they would if this were not the case, according to a new actuarial analysis from Aon, which finds that in 2018, although health care premiums rose 3.5 percent, employers only passed along 2.2 percent in premium increases and absorbed “a larger 3.9 percent increase to company costs.” The Aon analysis also found that in 2019, medical and pharmacy plan premiums are expected to go up by 3.5 percent, the same as this year, after plan design changes and vendor negotiations.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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