According to a June survey of employers representing 7.5 million workers by the National Business Group on Health, employees around the country will start seeing the impact of corporate cost-cutting on their finances. For employers taking certain cost-reduction measures, benefits will rise only 5 percent, instead of the 6.5 percent for companies that do not. Companies are keeping their healthcare costs in line by shifting their employees to high-deductible plans. In 2015, it is estimated that 81 percent of employers will offer a high-deductible plan as an option compared to 72 percent last year. 32 percent of employers will offer high-deductible plans as the only option, up 22 percent from last year. Employers are starting to use other cost-saving measures such as wellness programs; 53 percent of large companies plan to add or expand on programs in 2015. These wellness programs encourage employees to lose weight, quit smoking and make other healthy lifestyle changes by offering cash incentives.
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