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2018 Iowa Employer Benefits Study© is Now Available!


2018 Iowa Employer Benefits Study© now available!The 2018 Iowa Employer Benefits Study© overall summary is now available! As we have done with recent studies, we are providing this summary report through an electronic download only, rather than a printed hard copy.

As mentioned in a previous blog, we had 1,001 Iowa organizations participate in this year’s survey, reaching our goal of 1,000 respondents. In addition to the standard benefit questions presented each year, we asked organizations to share data on paid time off (PTO) and traditional leave components, highly popular benefits that are valued by employees.

If your organization participated in this year’s survey, we sincerely thank you for sharing your data with us and for your patience while the report was being published. We realize that many employers wish to use the results of this important Study during the fall enrollment process. On August 28, participants in this Study were sent an email from us with a unique link to gain access to this report (at no cost).

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Again, we greatly appreciate your interest in this 19th study!

To stay abreast of employee benefits, we invite you to subscribe to our blog.

2018 Iowa Employer Benefits Study© Results
Employers Report 8.4% Increase in Health Premiums

Today, we issued our 19th Iowa Employer Benefits Study© results. As with past studies, the wealth of data is immense. This year’s study found that Iowa employer health insurance premiums increased an average of 8.4 percent from 2017 to 2018.

The 8.4 increase is an average that factors in employers receiving no rate change, an increase or decrease in their health premiums. This number represents the average increase in premiums employers received PRIOR to making design changes to their medical plans – such as increasing cost-sharing arrangements with employees.

The 2018 Iowa Employer Benefits Study© found that average annual premiums for employer and employee contributions (combined) were $6,874 for single coverage and $17,449 for family coverage. Since 1999, the year this study began, the single premium has increased by 233 percent while the family premium has jumped by 217 percent. (NOTE: In a number of slides below, the year 2017 was excluded because no survey was performed.)

During the post-ACA period (2011-2018), total family premiums increased by 31.2 percent, while employees with family coverage experienced an 18.4 percent increase. This information is depicted in the following graph.

How did Iowa employers respond? They continue to ratchet up employee cost-sharing arrangements, by increasing employee premium contributions and plan-sharing responsibilities, resulting in higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

Iowa employees were asked to contribute an annual average of $1,351 for employee-only coverage, while employees with family members were asked to pay $5,256 annually. Over the course of 19 years (1999-2018), employee contributions have increased by 204 percent for single coverage and 147 percent for family coverage. 

The average 2018 deductible for single coverage is now $1,900, while the family deductible is $3,899. Since 2004, deductibles for both single and family have risen by 236 percent and 229 percent, respectively. Please note, the survey year 2011 was somewhat of an anomaly, as a higher percentage of manufacturing organizations were targeted to be respondents.

The post-ACA period (2011-2018) reveals the deductibles continue to climb for both single and family, approximately 27 percent and 23 percent respectively.

Understandably, employers do not like to pass along increased premiums and medical plan cost-shifting to their employees, as it negatively impacts salary adjustments and purchasing power. With this said, the employer market is considerably more stable than what is currently happening in the individual insurance markets, both in Iowa and nationally.

The above information is just a small fraction of our survey results. The complete 2018 Iowa Employer Benefits Study© is available for purchase and download on this site.

To learn more, we invite you to subscribe to this blog.

Coming Soon! 2018 Iowa Employer Benefits Study©

We are very pleased that 1,001 Iowa employers have responded to our 2018 Iowa Employer Benefits Study©! This number met our goal of having at least 1,000 organizations participate in our 19th survey. The results of this study will be available in early September.

As we prepare to release our 19th Study, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The Overall Summary of the 2018 Iowa Employer Benefits Study© will be available for download from our website.
    • Employers who participated in the 2018 Survey will be sent an email in early September to download this report using a specific pass code.
    • Employers who did not participate in the 2018 Survey will be able to download this Overall Summary for a small fee.

We have also updated our benchmarking program – Lindex®  allowing employers to compare their specific benefit offerings with other Iowa employers. Lindex® was developed with simplicity and intuitiveness in mind. In addition to learning how your benefits package compares with other Iowa organizations (using pertinent criteria such as employer size and industry), employers will be able to learn their individual Lindex® score and how their total benefits package compares to Iowa norms. There are some very sophisticated aspects about this benchmark program that will be extremely helpful to employers of all size and industry!

Our 2018 Iowa Employer Benefits Study© and/or Lindex® benchmarking program will be available for purchase in early September.

How can employers determine their Lindex® score?

You can either contact DPLB to learn more or visit with your authorized-benefits consultant to develop your Lindex® score. If your consultant does not currently participate in the Lindex® program, have them contact DPLB to learn how!

Please continue to visit our website to learn when our:

  • 2018 Iowa Employer Benefits Study© is available for download
  • Lindex® benchmark program has been updated with fresh 2018 survey data

An easy way to stay informed is to subscribe to this blog.