An annual survey conducted by the Rochester Business Alliance shows an increase in the number of local businesses offering high deductible health insurance, more than triple the amount two years ago.

An annual survey conducted by the Rochester Business Alliance shows an increase in the number of local businesses offering high deductible health insurance, more than triple the amount two years ago.


According to the RBA's 2011 Health Benefits Survey, 46 percent of employers responding to the survey offered one or more high-deductible health insurance plans accompanied by a health savings account. That's up from 30 percent in 2010 and 15 percent in 2009. 


High deductible plans give lower premiums for employers, and can be used as a cost saving measure.


“High deductible health plans allow employees to have greater control over their health care expenditures by encouraging them to be better consumers.  But these plans also benefit many employers that realize some level of cost savings due to lower premiums,” said Sandy Parker, president and CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance, in a statement.  “Our member companies continue to offer health care benefits to their employees because they believe it is important and essential.  But for the overall health of their entire business, they still have to control costs where they can.”


A majority of respondents offer variety in plan choices. This year, 46 percent of employers offered two different health insurance plans to their employees, 25 percent offered three plans, and 19 percent offered one plan.


The survey, which included 208 responses, also showed that employers continue to pay a significant share of their employees’ health insurance premiums. Respondents reported contributing an average of 73 percent of single-person plan and 66 percent of two-person, 69 percent of family plans without coverage for a spouse, and 65 percent of family premiums. 


But those paying the full cost of single coverage is at 19 percent, down from 22 percent last year.