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CUs find ways to cut health care plan costs
MADISON, Wis. (4/1/10)--Despite tight budgets from the economy and the escalating costs of providing health care coverage, credit unions continue offering this prized employee benefit. Like past years, 65% of credit unions provide health insurance to their employees--and nearly all credit unions with $50 million or more in assets offer it, according to the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) recently released 2010-2011 Credit Union Staff Benefits Report.
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The full impact of health care reform on health care coverage as an employer-provided benefit is not yet clear. However, employers currently providing this benefit will continue to face challenges fairly soon, with percentage cost increases projected to return to double-digit levels in 2010 and 2011. Half of credit unions saw 2010 health insurance costs increase at least 10% over 2009 costs. Credit unions trying to reign in costs are most likely to increase employee cost-sharing for health care coverage, increase/enhance employee communications, study health care data for cost of use patterns, or add/increase use of their wellness program. "It’s encouraging that credit unions are finding ways to reduce costs and persist in providing health care insurance as an employee benefit," said Beth Soltis, senior research analyst for CUNA. "The employee benefits package is an essential recruitment and retention tool, and health care insurance is arguably its most crucial component," she said. "It is vital for credit unions to understand the impact of health care reform and monitor cost trends in order to maintain a cost-effective health care plan and preserve its place in the employee benefits package." The survey provides nationwide data on benefit trends, costs, and program structures for health care coverage, wellness programs, retirement/savings plans, life and disability insurance, work/life and ancillary benefits, and paid leave. The report is available in print or Adobe PDF format. For more information or to order the print or PDF versions of CUNA's 2010-2011 CU Staff Benefits Report, use the links.
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