Health Care

Mercer survey: Kansas employers expect modest rise in health plan costs

The results of a Mercer survey of Kansas employers show that companies expect the health care plans they provide to workers to increase in costs by relatively modest rates in 2015.

Mercer said the responses of 26 Kansas-based employers showed that they expected plan co sts to increase by 7.6 percent if they made no changes to their current plan. However, the employers expect their cost to increase 4 percent next year because they plan to make changes to their plan designs and vendors.

Kansas employers also were asked in the survey about the likelihood of terminating their medical plans within the next five years, sending employees to public health plan exchanges. Mercer said 4 percent of Kansas companies that participated in the survey said they are likely or very likely to do so.

The Kansas survey is part of a broader annual survey by Kansas City, Mo.-based Mercer, an employee benefits consulting firm.

The 2014 National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans said employers expect their health plan costs will rise by an average of 4.6 percent in 2015. If those employers did nothing to change their plans or vendors, they would expect costs to increase by an average of 7.1 percent, Mercer said.