We have talked a lot about the cost-shift trends visible in this year’s Milliman Medical Index. Another interesting dynamic is the variation in different cost trends at work across the employee and employer shares of cost:
The one thing that seems consistent? The lion’s share of cost increases do not reside on any one line for all that long. While employees have taken on a higher share of costs for the last three years, they have done so in different ways, first by taking on more out-of-pocket costs until this year, when the out-of-pocket rate of increase went down considerably and the premium contribution rate of increase went up. While it is difficult to ascribe causality in these dynamics, this fluctuation may be attributable to a recognition by employers of the give-and-take between employers and employees in absorbing cost increases.