Large employers saw just a 1.9% increase in health care costs in 2020–the lowest increase in more than 20 years. (Image: Shutterstock)

Increasing health care costs has been an accepted fact of life for many employers. But while 2020 saw a surge in pandemic-related health care utilization, the decrease in utilization of care and deferral of elective procedures actually benefitted employers’ bottom lines. According to Mercer, large employers saw just a 1.9% increase in costs in 2020–the lowest increase in more than 20 years.

“The need to minimize exposure to the virus and ease the strain on overloaded health facilities caused many people to forgo care this past year, which translated to slower cost growth in 2020. Heading into 2021, that’s allowed employers to avoid cost management tactics like shifting cost to employees,” said Tracy Watts, a senior consultant at Mercer.

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Emily Payne

Emily Payne is the current deputy editor for ALM's Business & Finance Markets and former managing editor for BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she has spent the past decade writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.

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